Although we’d all like to believe we obey traffic laws, the reality is that most of us have driven over the speed limit at one time or another. In fact, around 86% of drivers believe it’s safe to drive at least 10 miles per hour over the speed limit on the highway.
But while you might believe your skills will save you from disaster, the reality is that speeding is one of the leading causes of accidents. And even if you aren’t involved in a collision, you may still need help from a speeding lawyer if law enforcement catches you disregarding posted signs. In order to stay safe and out of legal trouble, here’s what you should know about speeding in New Jersey.
Understanding Speeding NJ Laws
Default New Jersey law states that, unless a driver is within a 65-mile-per-hour zone, they cannot exceed 50 miles per hour. Of course, there are a lot of other specific speeding regulations by which drivers need to abide. For instance, when a driver is traveling through a school zone, residential district, or business area, speeds must be reduced to 25 miles per hour. Generally, New Jersey drivers can travel at 35 miles per hour in suburban areas. But speed limits are also set by the specific area or road, which means any posted speed limit will take precedent. Drivers must also reduce their speeds when approaching intersections, railroad crossings, hill crests, curves, and narrow roadways, as well as in inclement weather or other hazardous conditions.
One interesting point to note that when a posted speed limit differs from a blanket speed limit, it must be determined by a traffic or engineering investigation that the increased or decreased speed is safe or reasonable. The Department of Transportation has the power to approve different speed limits that have been set — and unless the speed limit sign change has been explicitly approved, it’s considered invalid. If a speed limit sign did not receive proper approval, it’s possible that a driver may not be convicted for speeding within that area — provided they have help from a speeding lawyer who understands how powerful this may be for their case.
Speeding Tickets, Points, and Court Appearances
With that in mind, let’s talk about New Jersey speeding tickets, points, and potential court appearances. For those who receive speeding tickets in New Jersey, they’ll usually have the option to either pay a fine or to appear in court to fight the ticket. Paying the fee associated with your speeding ticket means that you’re pleading guilty to the charges. In some cases, that might make more sense. But if you feel you’ve been wrongly accused of speeding or you’ve been ticketed for traveling at excessive speeds, you may want to (or may be forced to) appear in court.
Speeding tickets can be quite expensive in New Jersey, particularly when excessive speeds or certain zones (like construction areas or locations around schools) are involved. Fines can often be anywhere from $85 to over $250 — and that doesn’t include surcharges, doubled fines, or increases to your car insurance premiums. What’s more, you may incur points on your driver’s license as a result of speeding. If you accumulate 12 points on your license, you’ll be subject to an automatic suspension of driving privileges.
If you go to court, it’s best to hire a motor vehicle attorney to represent you. And if you’ve been caught driving 20 to 40 miles over the speed limit, you’ll definitely want to protect yourself by finding a reputable speeding lawyer. While there’s no guarantee that you’ll have the charge or potential penalties dismissed or reduced, having legal representation typically increases the chance of a favorable outcome.
You may never have guessed you’d need the assistance of a careless driving attorney. But just one speeding ticket could cost hundreds of dollars and has the power to derail your life. If you’ve been ticketed for traveling above the speed limit and need to go to court, you deserve an experienced speeding lawyer by your side. For more information on how we can help fight a ticket and associated fines, points, or other penalties, please contact The Segalas Law Firm today.