Failure to Observe a Traffic Signal, N.J.S.A. 39:4-81

Failure to Observe Traffic Signal (2 Point Ticket) Attorney

In the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Code (Title 39 of the New Jersey Statutes), “Failing to Observe a Traffic Signal”, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-81, is one of the more common point violations committed regularly. What may seem like a very minor offense for making a right at a no turn red light is actually a two (2) point violation. Failing to Observe a Traffic Signal in New Jersey can be very costly in terms of increased insurance costs, and will bring many people over the 12-point limit for a Persistent Violator suspension by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

Penalties for Failure to Observe a Traffic Signal in New Jersey Cities

Failure to Observe a Traffic Signal under N.J.S.A. 39:4-81 is punishable by up to a $200 fine, and imprisonment up to fifteen (15) days in county jail. Additionally,  these fines are enhanced when the “Failure to Observe a Traffic Signal” takes place in designated “safe corridors” and/or “construction zones”. A person’s license may also be suspended, both by the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission (accumulation of too many points) and by the judge due to the alleged conduct that led to the ticket.

In many circumstances, a skilled and experienced traffic ticket attorney can reduce N.J.S.A. 39:4-81 tickets to something that entails less, or even no points on a motor vehicle driver’s abstract.*

Circumstances are different in every case, and the best way to determine what can be done would be to contact a traffic ticket attorney at  1 (877) 450-8301 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

What if The Driver Worked as a Employee at the Time of the Violation?

Technically, the owner or parent company of the vehicle is liable for the driving violation. This was established in State v. Gelman in 1961, where the court held that a licensee in whose company and under whose control permittee operated automobile was absolutely liable for permittee’s passing through a red traffic signal, regardless of whether licensee had failed to exercise proper control. 65 N.J.S.A. 600. Therefore, it is imperative that both the driver and the owner of the vehicle take adequate notice to properly handle any moving violations, including those for Failing to Observe a Traffic Signal, under N.J.S.A. 39:4-81.

What is the Law For Failure to Observe a Traffic Signal (2 Points) N.J.S.A. 39:4-81

N.J.S.A. 39:481, “Observing Traffic Signals”
Effective: July 9, 2004

a. The driver of every vehicle, the motorman of every street car and every pedestrian shall obey the instructions of any official traffic control device applicable thereto, placed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, unless otherwise directed by a traffic or police officer.

b. When, by reason of a power failure or other malfunction, a traffic control signal at an intersection is not illuminated, the driver of a vehicle or street car shall, with respect to that intersection, observe the requirement for a stop intersection, as provided in R.S. 39:4-144.