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New Jersey Traffic Laws

Both out-of-state drivers and residents of the Garden State should know the rules for driving safely and legally in New Jersey. Understanding the basic traffic rules may help prevent a costly traffic ticket or more serious citation.

You can learn more about New Jersey traffic offenses and motor vehicle laws in this article.

Use the following driving manuals and vehicle codes:

The complete manuals and vehicle codes in the bullets above cover many topics. The links at the end of this article also go in-depth about state-specific traffic laws.

This article and the linked materials will help you learn about:

  • Basic traffic rules for right-of-way, left-hand turns, tailgating, and one-way streets
  • Passing zones, overtaking vehicles, and passing to the right when traveling in opposite directions
  • Speed limits for varying public roads and state highways, as well as unnecessary slow speeds
  • Crossing paths with an authorized emergency vehicle or school bus
  • Special rules for work zones, construction sites, and school zones
  • Regulations for seat belts, booster seats, and child restraints
  • Traffic-control signals and devices like stop signs, yield signs, stop lights, and crosswalk signals
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances (DUI/DWI)
  • Required vehicle equipment such as headlamps, brake lights, turn signals, and license plates
  • Penalties for reckless driving and careless driving
  • How the Surcharge Violation System and points schedule affect your driving privileges

Speeding in New Jersey

The statewide speed limit for state highways in New Jersey is lower than in several other states. The maximum speed for most of these highways is 65 mph. Speed limits vary for other roadways and areas:

  • 25 mph for school zones, business, or residential districts
  • 35 mph in specific low-density business and residential districts
  • 50 mph on all other public roadways
  • 55 mph on certain state highways and all interstates
  • 65 mph on certain state highways

The speed limit is the fastest motorists are permitted to drive in ideal conditions unless otherwise posted. Under certain conditions, commercial vehicles may have to adhere to lower speed limits.

Check the most recent traffic and road regulations in New Jersey to ensure you are up to date with current maximum speeds. Law enforcement may also set different limits for specific municipalities. To avoid a speeding ticket, always obey the posted speed limit and all traffic control devices.

Traveling in New Jersey

The New Jersey Department of Transportation provides online resources for motorists, public transit commuters, and pedestrians. Check their website for construction updates, ridesharing info, pedestrian safety, and more.

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission website houses information and resources for updating your driver's license, vehicle registration, and more.

Drinking & Driving Violations

Driving while intoxicated (NJ Statutes 39:4-50)

Driving Without a License / With a Suspended License

Licensing of drivers (NJ Statutes 39:3-10)

Driving Without Insurance / With Insufficient Insurance

Maintenance of motor vehicle liability insurance coverage (NJ Statutes 39:6B-1)

Driving Without Registration / With Expired Registration

Registration of automobiles and motorcycles (NJ Statutes 39:3-4)

Illegal U-Turn

Turning on curve, grade, or ... [where] marked with "no U-turn" sign (NJ Statutes 39:4-125)

Leaving the Scene of an Accident / Hit & Run

Action in case of accident (NJ Statutes 39:4-129)

Mechanical Violations

Motor vehicle equipment (NJ Statutes Title 39, Ch. 3, Articles 3-5)

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving (NJ Statutes 39:4-96)

Running a Red Light / Stop Sign

Traffic control devices; drivers' obedience (NJ Statutes 39:4-120.9)Traffic signals; observance (NJ Statutes 39:4-81)

Seat Belt / Child Restraint Violations

Seat belt usage requirements (NJ Statutes 39:3-76.2f)


Rates of speed (NJ Statutes 39:4-98)

Unlawful Vehicle Modifications

Motor vehicle equipment (NJ Statutes Title 39, Ch. 3, Articles 3-5)

Traffic Violation? Get Help Now

If you have been ticketed for a traffic violation in the state of New Jersey, you should contact a traffic ticket attorney in your area.

An experienced attorney can review your citation to ensure the police officer applied the driving laws correctly. This may save you a costly fine and points off your driver's license. 

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