Four (4) Point Tickets in New Jersey

As most New Jersey Drivers are aware, a majority of our state’s traffic violations carry the ancillary consequence/penalty known as motor vehicle points. Depending on the type of offense and the circumstances surrounding your charge, you could be facing anywhere between zero (0) and eight (8) points for any individual ticket. For the purposes of this blog, my focus will be on those New Jersey Traffic Tickets that carry four (4) points. These tickets include a variety of Improper Passing violations, Driving in an Unsafe Manner (where you have already used your prior two no point violations under this offense) and Speeding tickets (where your speed is at a rate between 15-29 miles over the posted speed limit). In addition to any fines an assessments issued by the municipal judge, you will also face insurance eligibility points which will raise your monthly premium, as well as the possibility of a yearly DMV surcharge or even a DMV Administrative Suspension.

Our criminal and traffic defense team includes not only former county prosecutors who have handled hundreds of felony offenses, but also former municipal prosecutors who know the best ways to attack a traffic ticket. Give us a call at (877) 450-8301 for a free initial consultation.

Improper Passing on NJ Turnpike, GS Parkway or AC Expressway N.J.S.A. 27:23-29

Traffic violations that occur on the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway or Atlantic City Expressway, New Jersey State Troopers will often be involved. These State Troopers typically issue there tickets under the a separate guide of statutes apart from municipal or local police officers. For the violation of Improper Passing, the statute may be found at N.J.S.A. 28:23-29. A violation of this offense carries up to four points and various other court fines. Additionally, these charges may be only one of many other traffic tickets you received, including Speeding, Tailgating, Driving While Suspended, or Reckless Driving.

N.J.S.A. 27:23-29 Compliance with regulations; authority to make regulations
All persons operating vehicles upon any such highway project, or seeking to do so, must at all times comply with regulations, not inconsistent with the other sections of this act, adopted by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority concerning types, weights and sizes of vehicles permitted to use any such highway project, and with regulations adopted by the Authority for or prohibiting the parking of vehicles, concerning the making of turns and the use of particular traffic lanes, together with any and all other regulations adopted by the Authority to control traffic and prohibit acts hazardous in their nature or tending to impede or block the normal and reasonable flow of traffic upon any highway project; provided, however, that prior to the adoption of any regulation for the control of traffic on any such highway project, including the designation of any speed limits, the Authority shall investigate and consider the need for and desirability of such regulation for the safety of persons and property, including the Authority’s property, and the contribution which any such regulation would make toward the efficient and safe handling of traffic and use of such highway project, and shall determine that such regulation is necessary or desirable to accomplish such purposes or one or some of them, and that upon or prior to the effective date of any such regulation and during its continuance, notice thereof shall be given to the drivers of vehicles by appropriate signs erected at the roadside or otherwise posted.
The Authority is hereby authorized and empowered to make, adopt and promulgate regulations referred to in this section in accordance with the provisions hereof.
Regulations adopted by the Authority pursuant to the provisions of this section shall insofar as practicable, having due regard to the features of any such highway project and the characteristics of traffic thereon, be consistent with the provisions of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes applicable to similar subjects.
The Authority shall have power to amend, supplement or repeal any regulation adopted by it under the provisions of this section.

Improper Passing on Right or Off Roadway N.J.S.A. 39:4-85

Generally, the standard for passing another motor vehicle deals with what is subjectively considered “safe.” Based on this, one can surmise that a driver’s interpretation of what is safe can drastically differ from what a police officer considers safe. Often times, clients call our office to complain about an Improper Passing ticket that they believe was unfairly issued. In these instances we are typically able to work out a negotiated plea so as to afford our clients a no-point violation instead of this four (4) point violation.

N.J.S.A. 39:4-85 Passing to left when overtaking; passing when in lines; passing upon right

The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass at a safe distance to the left thereof and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle. If vehicles on the roadway are moving in two or more substantially continuous lines, the provisions of this paragraph and section 39:4-87 of this Title shall not be considered as prohibiting the vehicles in one line overtaking and passing the vehicles in another line either upon the right or left, nor shall those provisions be construed to prohibit drivers overtaking and passing upon the right another vehicle which is making or about to make a left turn.

The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right as provided in this section only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. In no event shall such movement be made by driving off the pavement or main-traveled portion of the roadway.

Improper Passing in No Passing Zone N.J.S.A. 39:4-86

Certain situations in New Jersey have been designated as “no passing zones.” These zones include the center line of a highway when there is: (1) oncoming traffic, (2) view on horizon is obstructed by hills or the like, or (3) when the area has been clearly marked as a no passing zone. If you are caught in violation of one of these laws, you will be charged with N.J.S.A. 39:4-86 and face a four point assessment on their New Jersey Driver’s Abstract.

N.J.S.A. 39:4-86, Overtaking and passing vehicles; crossing “No Passing” lines

The driver of a vehicle shall not drive to the left side of the center line of a highway in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless the left side is clearly visible and free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit the overtaking and passing to be made in safety.

The driver of a vehicle shall not drive to the left of the center of a highway in order to overtake and pass another vehicle proceeding in the same direction upon the crest of a grade or upon a curve in the highway where the driver’s view along the highway is obstructed within a distance of five hundred feet.

Except when otherwise directed by a duly constituted traffic or police officer or when the lane in which he is operating is obstructed and impassable, the driver of a vehicle shall not cross an appropriately marked “No Passing” line in a “No Passing” zone duly established pursuant to a duly promulgated regulation of the State Highway Commissioner or an ordinance or resolution duly adopted by a municipal governing body or a board of chosen freeholders, whichever has jurisdiction over the highway.

Driving in an Unsafe Manner N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.2

Almost everyone is familiar with the Unsafe Driving provision in New Jersey under N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.2. This Statute is often afforded to drivers as a way to avoid a traffic ticket that carries points. However, this statute becomes a four (4) point ticket when it is used within five (5) years of your second guilty plea under N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.2. Sometimes, non-attorneys will pleas to this violation, not-knowing that there are points associated with the ticket and could face a higher fine and more points than they would have faced had they plead to the original charge. For more information about Unsafe Operation tickets under N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.2 please see the statute below or call (877) 450-8301 to speak with an attorney.

N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.2, Driving or operating a motor vehicle in an unsafe manner; endangering persons or property; fines; surcharges

a. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, it shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate a motor vehicle in an unsafe manner likely to endanger a person or property.

b. A person convicted of a first offense under subsection a. shall be subject to a fine of not less than $50.00 or more than $150.00 and shall not be assessed any motor vehicle penalty points pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1982, c. 43 (C.39:5-30.5).

c. A person convicted of a second offense under subsection a. shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100.00 or more than $250.00 and shall not be assessed any motor vehicle penalty points pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1982, c. 43 (C.39:5-30.5).

d. A person convicted of a third or subsequent offense under subsection a. shall be subject to a fine of not less than $200.00 or more than $500.00 and shall be assessed motor vehicle penalty points pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1982, c. 43 (C.39:5-30.5).

e. An offense committed under this section that occurs more than five years after the prior offense shall not be considered a subsequent offense for the purpose of assessing motor vehicle penalty points under subsection d. of this section.

f. In addition to any fine, fee or other charge imposed pursuant to law, the court shall assess a person convicted of an offense under subsection a. of this section a surcharge of $250 which shall be collected by the court and distributed to the Division of Revenue in the Department of the Treasury as a New Jersey Merit Rating Plan surcharge pursuant to subparagraph (a) of paragraph (2) of subsection b. of section 6 of P.L.1983, c. 65 (C.17:29A-35).

Speeding 15-29 mph over the posted-limited N.J.S.A. 39:4-98

Speeding tickets, depending on your speed, may vary anywhere from a two (2) point ticket to a five (5) point ticket. For the purposes of this blog we are only concerned with the middle tier Speeding ticket which involves speeds between 14 and 29 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. Your speed will be calculating through one of two methods, (1) radar gun or (2) pacing (whereby the officers car followers your and based on his speedometer reading he “calculates” your speed). Both of these techniques can be carefully and artfully overcome by a skilled New Jersey traffic attorney. For more information on how to the law regarding Speeding tickets and how you can fight them, please visit our Speeding page.


If you wish to speak with a highly skilled New Jersey traffic lawyer, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall today toll free at (877) 450-8301. We provide flexible payment plans and accept major credit cards. We are available nights and weekends for convenient appointments.