New Jersey Speeding Laws

Basic Speed Law: A person shall drive a vehicle at an appropriate reduced rate of speed when special hazard exist with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway condition. Required reduced rates of speed also includes (1) approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, (2) approaching and going around a curve, (3) approaching a hill crease and (4) traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway. NJ § 39:4-98

Penalty for Exceeding Speed Limit

A first time violator may be:

  • fined between $50 and $200,
  • sentenced to jail time of not more than 15 days, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended 30 to 180 days.

Penalty for Reckless Driving

A first time violator may be:

  • fined between 450 and $200,
  • sentenced to jail time of not more than 60 days, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended 30 to 180 days.

Speed Limit

  • 65 MPH on selected portions of State eligible public highways as determined by the State Commissioner of Transportation 

It is prima facie unlawful for a person to exceed the following speed limits.

  • 55 MPH on all other highways
  • 35 MPH in suburban business or residential district
  • 25 MPH in a (non-suburban) business or residential district
  • 25 MPH either when passing through a school zone during recess, while children are visible from the highway or when children are either going to or leaving a school during opening and closing hours.

New Jersey Speeding Laws

New Jersey has what is known as an “absolute” speed limit law. There is no trick to how this works: If the sign says 40 mph and you drive 41 mph or more, you have violated the law. In other words, you are guilty if you drive over the speed limit. In New Jersey you may be able to make three possible defenses:

  • Attacking the officer’s determination of your speed. To do this you must discover what method the officer used to cite you and then learn about the ways to attack that particular method.
  • Claiming an emergency forced you to exceed the speed limit to avoid serious damage or injury to yourself or others.
  • Claiming that the officer mistook your car for another car. With so many similar-looking cars, it is possible that a cop could see a speeding car, lose sight of it around a corner, and then wrongly pick out your car farther down the road.

Note that in New Jersey you can be ticketed for driving at an unsafe speed, even if that speed does not violate the posted limit -- for example, driving exactly at the maximum mph posted limit on the freeway amidst slower and heavy traffic, in a dense fog, or in a driving rainstorm or blizzard.

Point System

For the indicated point accumulations in a period of 2 years or less, the following suspension periods apply: 12 to 15 points-30 days suspension; 16 to 18 points-60 days suspension; 19 to 21 points-90 days suspension; 22 to 24 points-120 days suspension; 25 to 27 points-150 days suspension; and more than 28 points-180 days suspension.

For the indicated point accumulations in a period greater than 2 years, the following suspension periods apply: 15 to 18 points-30 days suspension; 19 to 22 points-60 days suspension; 23 to 26 points-90 days suspension; 27 to 30 points-120 days suspension; 31 to 35 points-150 days suspension; and ≥36 points-180 days suspension. 

The following points have been assigned to speeding and speed related violations: Racing on highway-5 points; reckless driving-5 points; careless driving-2 points; slow speed blocking traffic or not maintaining the proper speed in a designed traffic lane-2 points; exceeding speed limit more than 1 but less than 14 MPH-2 points; exceeding speed limit more than 15 but less than 29 MPH-4 points; exceeding speed limit more than 30-5 points; and, third offense of unsafe driving-[points have not yet been established for this offense]

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