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New Jersey Motorist Information


The following information is updated periodically. However, laws and regulations can change between updates. State statutes and local ordinances are the ultimate authorities for these issues.

Discuss New Jersey motorists issues in the NMA Forum

Points of Interest

  • Self-service gas is prohibited.
  • New Jersey requires that you have your headlights on whenever you are using your windshield wipers.
  • The right of way on many of the traffic circles (rotaries) is not clearly defined. Sometimes it is the person inside the circle with the right of way, sometimes it is the person entering. These unwritten rules are not consistent from circle to circle, and worse yet, not consistent within a circle. Always be prepared to stop.
  • Police cars use red lights, sometimes in combination with other colors, when they want to pull someone over. Be cautious of a vehicle displaying a blue light only. If in doubt, signal acknowledgment and that you are proceeding to a well-lit public place to stop.
  • There is a hefty fine for snow or ice blowing off your car and causing damage to another car or person.
  • The best traffic and weather reports are on WKXW, 101.5 FM and 97.3 FM. Accurate weather every 10 minutes and traffic reports 24 hours a day.

Red-Light Cameras

New Jersey has instituted a pilot program of red-light cameras. Here is a link to their locations. By avoiding or exercising particular caution at these locations, you can not only avoid getting a camera ticket, but also make it more likely that the pilot program will be considered a failure and the cameras will be scrapped.

Speed Limits

Rural Interstates: Cars 65, Trucks 65
Urban Interstates: Cars 55, Trucks 55
Other Limited Access Roads: Cars 65, Trucks 65
(http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/speedlimit_laws.html)

These speed limits apply unless a different limit is posted.

Speed limits are absolute--exceeding the speed limit is illegal per se (regardless of whether it was safe under the specific conditions).

Speed Limits Enforcement Techniques
Enforced through use of:
Pacing: Yes
Radar: Yes
Vascar: Yes
Automated Speed Enforcement: Yes
Aircraft: Yes
Laser: Yes

Ticket Payment Methods
Consult your ticket or clerk of courts

Trial By Declaration Allowed
No

Jury Trial Allowed
Speeding: No
Parking: No
Equipment: No
DWI: No

Member of Nonresident Compact
Yes

Member of Driver License Compact
Yes

When and Where to File Accident Reports
The driver of a vehicle or street car involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person, or damage to property of any one person in excess of $500.00 shall by the quickest means of communication give notice of such accident to the local police department or to the nearest office of the county police of the county or of the State Police, and in addition shall within 10 days after such accident forward a written report of such accident to the division on forms furnished by it.

(New Jersey Statute 39:4-130)

Resident Insurance Requirements
Liability insurance is required (although some states allow posting a cash bond or such as an alternative)
Minimum Coverage Required:
Injury to one person: $15,000
All injuries: $30,000
Property Damage: $5,000
Uninsured motorist coverage is required
Florida is a "no-fault" state

Phone/Texting Restrictions
Hand-Held Ban: All drivers
All Cell Phone Ban: School bus drivers, and learner's permit and intermediate license holders
Texting Ban: All drivers
Enforcement: Primary: for all offenses
http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/cellular-phone-use-and-texting-while-driving-laws.aspx

Other Regulations

  • Open intoxicants are prohibited in the vehicle.
  • The BAC level is .08 percent.
  • New Jersey does not have an administrative license suspension law, but does have an implied consent law. The breathalyzer refusal penalty is a 6-month driver's license suspension for first offense.
  • Firearms may not be carried in a vehicle without a firearm identification card.
  • New Jersey considers over 4 dozen specified firearms as being "assault firearms." Check before you carry firearms through this state.
  • Studded tires are permitted from November 15 to April 1.
  • Tire chains are not required.
  • New Jersey has a seat belt law with primary enforcement for all front seat occupants.
  • New Jersey has a mandatory motorcycle helmet law.
  • Registration and insurance card must be carried in the vehicle.

General Information
Telephone: 609/882-2000 ext. 2238 (State Police Division HQ) or http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/mcs/index.htm (Municipal Courts of New Jersey)
Emergency Cellular Phone Number: #77 or 911

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These pages are created and managed by the volunteer efforts of NMA Activists, State Chapter Coordinators and members.

If your state doesn't currently have anyone serving in these roles, perhaps you'd like to consider it.


When you see a police car on the side of the road, it should make you feel more safe.
So why doesn't it?

Across the United States, even the most careful, safe drivers on the road would probably admit to being nervous when they spot a police officer enforcing traffic laws. Instead of inspiring feelings of safety, our traffic laws are used to create fear. Can this ever change?


This page was last updated: August 2010







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