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When driving in New Jersey, it’s critical to understand the rules of the road not just to avoid getting a ticket, but for your safety and that of others on the road. One of the laws that often comes up, especially in traffic stops, is New Jersey Revised Statutes Section 39:4-87. This law deals with how a driver should behave when their vehicle is about to be overtaken and passed by another vehicle.
39:4-87: What Does NJ Law Say?
In essence, the law mandates that if you are driving and another vehicle is about to overtake and pass you from behind, you must “give way to the right” to allow that vehicle to pass. You are also prohibited from increasing your speed until you have been completely passed by the overtaking vehicle. This means you can’t try to race the vehicle overtaking you; rather, you should maintain or reduce your speed and allow them to pass safely.
Why Is This Law Important?
Promoting Road Safety
By giving way to the right and not increasing your speed, you minimize the risk of an accident. This is because the driver of the overtaking vehicle has a clearer path to pass, reducing the chances of a collision.
Enhancing Traffic Flow
Allowing cars to pass more easily and predictably enhances the overall flow of traffic on the road, which is beneficial for everyone driving.
What Happens If You Violate 39:4-87?
If you are found to be in violation of Section 39:4-87, you could face penalties which might include an $86.00 fine and two points on your driver’s license, or even increased insurance rates. Being convicted of this traffic offense charge could have a domino effect on your driving record and financial situation, so it’s best to abide by the law to avoid any complications.
Defending Against A Charge Under NJ’s Overtaking Vehicle Law: Section 39:4-87
If you’ve been charged under New Jersey’s overtaking vehicle law, Section 39:4-87, you might be wondering how you can mount an effective defense. After all, getting ticketed can lead to fines, points on your driving record, and potentially higher insurance premiums. Below are some potential defenses you might consider based on the statute in question.
Context Matters: The Circumstances Of The Overtaking
The context in which you were being overtaken could serve as a valid defense. For example, if the road conditions were such that giving way to the right would have been unsafe, such as during poor weather conditions or if there was an obstacle in the road, you may argue that it was safer to maintain your position.
Safety First: The Behavior Of The Overtaking Driver
If the overtaking driver was engaging in unsafe or reckless behavior, such as speeding excessively or tailgating, you could argue that giving way would have put you, the other driver, or other road users at risk. Your attorney might gather evidence to show that the other driver’s actions were not only unsafe but also contributed to the situation.
Lack Of Proper Signaling By The Overtaking Vehicle
The law implies a level of responsibility on the overtaking driver as well. If the driver did not properly signal their intent to overtake, it may be difficult for you to know that you needed to give way to the right. In this case, you could argue that you were not given adequate notice to comply with the statute.
You Did Comply, But Were Still Charged
It’s also possible that you did give way to the right but were still charged with a violation. In this case, any available evidence—such as dashcam footage or eyewitness accounts—can be crucial. A qualified attorney could help present this evidence to show that you did, in fact, comply with the law.
Reasonable Doubt And Officer Testimony
In some cases, it may come down to your word against that of the officer who issued the ticket. If there are inconsistencies in the officer’s testimony or report, or if the officer is not able to recall specific details about the event, this could introduce reasonable doubt as to whether you actually violated the law.
Secure Your 39:4-87 Ticket With A Skilled Lawyer
Being charged under New Jersey’s overtaking vehicle law, Section 39:4-87, is not something to take lightly. These charges can have serious effects on your driving record and financial situation. However, there are several defenses that can be effective, depending on the circumstances of your case. As always, if you find yourself facing this or similar charges, consulting with seasoned NJ traffic offense attorneys can help you navigate the legal system and may significantly improve the outcome of your case.
Your freedom is invaluable, and you should take every step to protect it. A dedicated criminal defense lawyer from The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall will offer you the rigorous defense you deserve. Our team has a strong track record in NJ, ensuring you’re in good hands. To discuss your options, contact us at (855) 925-4034 or click here.