New Jersey’s Speeding Laws and Penalties

Read about New Jersey’s speeding laws and the consequences of getting a speeding ticket.

New Jersey has two types of speeding laws: “absolute limits” and a “basic speeding law.” This article explains the differences between the two and the consequences of a speeding violation.

(Also, check out our articles that discuss the different types of speeding laws and ways of fighting a speeding ticket.)

Absolute Speed Limits

There is no trick to how New Jersey’s absolute speed limits work: If the absolute speed limit is 50 miles per hour and you drive faster than that, you’ve violated the law. New Jersey’s absolute speed limits include (unless otherwise posted):

  • 25 miles per hour in school zones when children are present
  • 25 miles per hour in business and residential districts
  • 35 miles per hour in suburban business and residential districts, and
  • 55 miles per hour on other roadways (except certain locations where 65 miles per hour is the posted limit).

(N.J. Stat. Ann. § 39:4-98 (2017).)

Basic Speeding Law

Notwithstanding the absolute limits, New Jersey’s basic speeding law requires drivers to reduce their speed as appropriate when approaching crossings, curves, a hill crest, or other road or weather conditions warrant the reduction. In other words, motorists must always drive at a safe speed. What a safe speed is will depend on the circumstances. For instance, 55 miles per hour might be safe on a bright, sunny day. But if it’s dark and the road is icy, going 55 miles per hour could be dangerous and a violation of the basic speeding law.

(N.J. Stat. Ann. § 39:4-98 (2017).)

Penalties for a Speeding Ticket

For most speeding violations, the motorist faces up to 15 days in jail and/or $50 to $200 in fines. And for willful speeding violations—meaning the driver was knowingly breaking the law—license revocation is possible.

Fines are, however, double for speeding offenses where the driver exceeded the posted limit by 20 miles per hour or more (or ten miles per hour or more in a 65 mile-per-hour zone).

(N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 39:4-98.6, 39:4-98.7, 39:4-104, 39:5-31 (2017).)

Reckless Driving and Vehicular Homicide

Depending on the circumstances, a speeding violation can lead to a “reckless driving” or “careless driving” conviction. Reckless driving carries up to 60 days in jail and/or $50 to $200 in fines, whereas a careless driving violation is punishable by up to 15 days in jail and/or $50 to $200 in fines.

And if a speeding violation results in the death of another person, it’s possible to be convicted of vehicular homicide—a second-degree crime. Convicted motorists face five to ten years in prison and up to $150,000 in fines.

(Read more about New Jersey’s reckless driving and vehicular homicide laws.)

Traffic Violation Points

A speeding ticket will typically add two to five points to a motorist’s driving record. Accumulating too many points can lead to license suspension.

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