When driving on New Jersey’s roads, understanding the rules is crucial not just for safety, but also to avoid potential legal troubles, including charges for various traffic crimes. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, our firm’s traffic violation attorney team is providing a breakdown of NJ law on failure to keep right offenses:

Keeping To The Right – Section 39:4-82

In New Jersey, there’s a clear directive to stay on the right side of the road. Here’s what this means for you:

Main Principle

When driving on any adequately wide highway (except one-way streets), always stay on the right half of the roadway.

Hugging The Edge

Try to drive as close as you can to the curb or edge of the road on the right side. There are exceptions though. If it’s impractical to stay on the right, or if you’re overtaking and passing another vehicle, then this rule can be adjusted.

Passing Vehicles Going In Opposite Directions – Section 39:4-84

Encountering oncoming traffic? Here’s what New Jersey law says:

Stick To Your Right

If you and another driver are moving toward each other from opposite directions, both should pass each other on the right. It’s a shared responsibility to ensure that each vehicle gets about half of the available space on the road.

Overtaking And Passing Rules – Section 39:4-85

There are specific rules for overtaking and passing vehicles in New Jersey:

Passing On The Left

If you’re overtaking a vehicle going in the same direction, always do so from the left side. After passing, don’t move back to the right until you’re safely ahead of the vehicle you just passed.

Multiple Continuous Lines

On roads where vehicles move in two or more continuous lines, it’s permissible to overtake and pass cars in another line. You can do this from either the right or left side. However, if another car is preparing for a left turn, you’re allowed to overtake and pass it on the right.

Passing On The Right

While overtaking on the right is allowed in specific situations, you should always prioritize safety. You’re not allowed to leave the main roadway or pavement to pass someone.

Frequently Asked Questions About New Jersey’s Section 39:4-82: Keeping To Right

What Is The Penalty For Failure To Keep Right?

You face a fine of up to $185.00 and two points on your license.

Why Is There A Need To Drive On The Right Half Of The Roadway In New Jersey?

Driving on the right half of the roadway ensures a uniform traffic flow, reducing confusion and the risk of head-on collisions, especially on two-way streets.

Does This Law Apply To All Roads In New Jersey?

Section 39:4-82 applies to all highways of sufficient width in New Jersey, except for one-way streets where traffic is designated to move in one direction only.

What If There’s An Obstruction On The Right Side Of The Road?

The statute recognizes situations where it may be impractical to drive on the right side due to obstructions or other hazards. In such cases, drivers can adjust their position to ensure safety.

Can I Overtake Another Vehicle On The Right Side?

While Section 39:4-82 primarily deals with keeping to the right, overtaking on the right is permissible under specific conditions outlined in other sections (like 39:4-85), provided it can be done safely and without leaving the main traveled portion of the roadway.

How Do One-Way Streets Affect This Rule?

One-way streets are an exception to this rule. On one-way streets, traffic moves only in one designated direction, so the need to stick to the right half is negated. However, it’s essential to follow lane markings and other road signs on one-way streets.

If I’m Driving On A Wide Highway, Do I Still Need To Stay Close To The Right-Hand Edge Or Curb?

Yes, drivers should try to drive as close as you can to the curb or edge of the road on the right side. However, exceptions apply when overtaking and passing another vehicle or when it’s impractical to travel on the right side of the roadway.

What Happens If I Don’t Adhere To The ‘Keeping To Right’ Rule?

Failing to adhere to Section 39:4-82 may result in a traffic violation, which could lead to fines, points on your driving record, and potential increased insurance premiums. In situations leading to accidents due to not keeping right, more severe legal consequences might arise.

If you’re unsure about any traffic regulation, consult with our traffic infraction lawyers or refer to the New Jersey Revised Statutes for clarity.

Received A Traffic Ticket In New Jersey? We Can Help.

Finding yourself on the wrong end of a traffic ticket case can be daunting, but with the criminal defense attorney team at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall on your side, you will not need to manage your traffic offense situation alone. Boasting over 200 years of combined experience and a team of 11 dedicated criminal defense attorneys, our firm stands unmatched. Our traffic defense lawyer roster includes seven former prosecutors; four of them have held elite positions within the Drug, Gang, and Gun Task Force, Major Crimes Division, and more.

Our traffic defense attorneys pride ourselves on having multiple criminal defense attorneys recognized by the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 and Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2021 list for New Jersey – a testament to our unparalleled expertise concerning criminal defense charges and how to defend against them. With one of our traffic defense lawyers certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Criminal Trial Attorney, why wait? Reach out to our criminal defense lawyer team at (855) 925-4034 or online for exceptional defense. Don’t compromise; choose the best for your traffic ticket case. We look forward to hearing from you.