How Traffic Tickets Could Suspend Driving Privileges
New Jersey is one of the nation’s oldest transportation hubs and especially when it comes to commercial road-going activities. If you are one of the 6.1 million licensed drivers in New Jersey, how you operate your vehicle and respond to moving violations can make a big difference in whether or not you maintain your driving privileges or get them suspended – or worse.
New Jersey uses a point system that works like a demerits system and could cost you to lose your license. Anyone who accumulates at least 12 points for various driving infractions will lose their driving privileges. Those points do not last forever but stay longer when you have more moving violations.
How Drivers Get Points Against Them
A variety of minor New Jersey moving violations will net you at least 2 points for offenses like ignoring a traffic signal or not yielding at an intersection will earn a minimum of 2 points against your driving privileges. Several more minor offenses could net 3 points, like using your handheld cellphone to talk while driving. The points start to add up more quickly when committing more serious driving violations that cause property damage, personal injury, or both.
Speeding violations state with a 2-point penalty for exceeding the speed limit by up to 14 mph. The points double to 4 when going 15 to 29 mph over the posted speed limit. The maximum speeding penalty is 5 points when doing 30 mph or more over the maximum speed allowed, except when racing on a highway.
Racing on a highway nets another 5 points for essentially the same violation, although another vehicle must participate, which raises the danger level. Reckless driving also earns a 5-point penalty against your New Jersey driver’s license.
New Jersey has one moving violation that will get you 8 points right away. That happens if you leave the scene of an accident that resulted in a personal injury. You do not even have to be at fault. Simply leaving the scene when someone else suffered an injury is enough to earn the penalty.
How Long Do Points Remain on Your Record
Just about every driver winds up committing a moving violation and receiving a traffic ticket at least once over a lifetime of driving and often several times. Humans make mistakes, and drivers are human. The points system acts to remind otherwise responsible drivers to pay better attention while driving when a minor violation occurs.
For every year that you drive without getting another ticket, the state deducts 3 points from your record. That makes it possible to obtain a traffic ticket and have a small number of points on your driving record without a major hit on your insurance rates. The more points you accumulate, the more your auto insurer will charge you to insure your vehicle in an already costly state to insure vehicles.
What Happens When You Get Too Many Points
Drivers who continually violate traffic laws and accrue points on a regular basis will lose their driving privileges via a suspension when the points total 12 or more. Instead of losing 3 points for each year of no-driving offenses, they continually commit more violations and suffer a license suspension. Reinstatement requires paying your fines and possibly attending traffic school.
Where to Pay Your Traffic Fines
When you are ticketed, you can either plead guilty and pay the fine or contest it by requesting a hearing with your local municipal court. If you want to pay your ticket without pleading, either way, you can do so online through the New Jersey Courts website. If you do not pay the fine for your moving violation, you will lose your driving privileges. You will not get them back until you pay your fine plus a reinstatement fee.
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