New Jersey has prima facie speed limits and a basic speed law that requires motorists to always drive at a safe speed. Here are how these speeding laws work and the penalties you’ll face for a speeding ticket in New Jersey.
New Jersey’s basic speeding law requires motorists to drive at an “appropriate reduced speed” when approaching hazards like curves and hillcrests or when weather conditions, traffic, the presence of pedestrians, or the like make it necessary to do so. In other words, this law makes it illegal to drive at a speed that’s unsafe regardless of what the posted speed limit is.
New Jersey uses mostly prima facie (also called “presumed”) speed limits. These include:
Prima facie speed limits are different than maximum limits. With maximum speed limits, if you exceed the posted limit, you’ve violated the law. But when you get caught driving faster than a prima facie limit, you can still beat the ticket by showing that your speed—though in excess of the prima facie limit—was safe.
A speeding violation conviction generally results in fines of $50 to $200 and up to 15 days in jail (though jail time isn’t common for speeding tickets). But the fines are doubled for violations involving driving at least 20 miles per hour over the limit or at least ten miles per hour over a 65-mile-per-hour limit. And for speeding violations that occur on certain portions of Route 130, the fines are tripled.
A speeding violation will also lead to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) assessing demerit points to the motorist’s driving record. The number of points depends on the driver’s speed in relation to the speed limit.
Of course, drivers who successfully fight their speeding ticket won’t have to deal with these penalties.
Depending on the circumstances, drivers who are caught speeding might face reckless driving charges. And if a driver causes the death of another person while speeding, vehicular homicide charges are a possibility.