If you’re considering riding a motorized bicycle in New Jersey, it’s crucial to understand the rules and regulations that govern their use on public roads and highways. Failing to adhere to these rules can result in hefty fines or even imprisonment. This piece will break down New Jersey’s laws concerning the operation of motorized bicycles, particularly on restricted highways.
The Law: New Jersey Revised Statutes Section 39:4-14.3
According to the 2022 New Jersey Revised Statutes Section 39:4-14.3, several restrictions are applied to the operation of motorized bicycles in the state. The law specifies where these bicycles cannot be operated, who can operate them, and what documents you must carry while riding them.
Where You Can’t Ride
Motorized bicycles are prohibited on interstate highways and public highways divided by a grass or concrete median. They are also restricted from roads with speed limits exceeding 50 miles per hour and any other public land where their operation is expressly prohibited. The commissioner has the authority to restrict their use on any road with a speed limit above 40 miles per hour if deemed hazardous.
Who Can Operate
You have to be at least 15 years old to operate a motorized bicycle. And even if you are of eligible age, you must be in possession of a valid driver’s license of any class or a motorized bicycle license. This license can be obtained upon proof of identity and date of birth and after passing a satisfactory examination.
When operating a motorized bike, you are required to carry your valid driver’s license, an insurance identification card, and the registration certificate for the motorized bicycle. Failure to show these documents when requested by a police officer could result in a fine not exceeding $50. However, if you can later show these documents were valid at the time of the charge, the judge may dismiss the charge but could impose court costs.
Penalties For Violations: New Jersey Revised Statutes Section 39:4-14.3b
Violating any provisions regarding the operation of motorized bicycles can result in severe consequences. The law stipulates fines not exceeding $200, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or both. Therefore, ignorance of the law can be both costly and inconvenient. Typically, a violation of 39:4-14.3 carries 2 points on your driver’s license.
Defenses For Operating A Motorized Bicycle On A Restricted Highway In New Jersey
Being well-versed in New Jersey’s laws on motorized bicycles can open the door to potential defenses that might apply to your situation.
One of the most straightforward defenses is having all the required documents, including a valid driver’s license, an insurance identification card, and a registration certificate for your motorized bicycle. The law specifies that if you can present these documents, which were valid at the time of the charge, the judge may dismiss the charge. However, court costs might still apply.
Age And License Verification
The law states that you must be at least 15 years old and possess either a valid driver’s license of any class or a motorized bicycle license. If you meet these conditions and can prove it, then you may have a valid defense against any charges claiming otherwise.
Speed Limit And Road Type
The statute prohibits the operation of motorized bicycles on roads with speed limits exceeding 50 miles per hour or divided by a concrete or grass median. If you can demonstrate that the road you were operating on does not fall into these categories, then you may have a valid defense.
If you are at least 15 years old and have been issued a learner’s permit that allows you to operate a motorized bicycle during daylight hours for up to 45 days, then having this permit can serve as a valid defense against charges, given you adhere to the permit’s conditions.
Lack Of Proper Signage
If the speed limit on the road was not clearly marked or if there were no signs indicating that motorized bicycles were prohibited, this might serve as a valid defense, particularly if the commissioner has not designated the road as hazardous for motorized bicycles.
Frequently Asked Questions About Operating A Motorized Bicycle On A Restricted Highway In New Jersey
Can I Ride My Motorized Bicycle On An Interstate In New Jersey?
No, you cannot ride a motorized bicycle on an interstate highway in New Jersey. The law explicitly prohibits this.
What Is The Minimum Age Requirement For Operating A Motorized Bike?
You must be at least 15 years old to operate a motorized bicycle in New Jersey. Furthermore, you must have a valid driver’s license or a motorized bicycle license to ride one.
Can A Municipality Impose Additional Restrictions On Motorized Bicycles?
No, municipalities in New Jersey cannot impose additional restrictions that contravene state law. The rules set out in Section 39:4-14.3 are state-wide and cannot be overridden by local jurisdictions.
What Documents Must I Carry While Riding A Motorized Bicycle?
You must carry a valid driver’s license, an insurance identification card, and the motorized bicycle’s registration certificate while operating it on public roads. Failing to present these when requested by a law enforcement officer could result in a fine not exceeding $50.
Can I Operate A Motorized Bicycle On A Road With A 50 Mph Speed Limit?
No, the law explicitly states that motorized bicycles cannot be operated on roads where the speed limit exceeds 50 miles per hour.
What Are The Penalties For Violating These Laws?
Violation of the law can result in fines not exceeding $200, imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or both, according to Section 39:4-14.3b.
Can I Get A Learner’s Permit For A Motorized Bicycle?
Yes, a learner’s permit can be issued to individuals who are at least 15 years old. This permit allows for the operation of a motorized bicycle during daylight hours for a period not exceeding 45 days. The permit costs $5.00.
What Happens If I’m Caught Riding Without The Required Documents?
If you are caught without the required documents but can later prove that they were valid at the time you were charged, the judge has the discretion to dismiss the charges. However, you may still have to pay court costs.
Do Regular Bicycle Laws Apply To Motorized Bicycles?
Yes, unless otherwise specified by the commissioner, regular bicycle laws apply to motorized bicycles when they are operated on any highway or public land in New Jersey.
Legal Obstacles? Our NJ Traffic Ticket Lawyers Can Help
Knowing the laws and regulations concerning motorized bicycles in New Jersey can save you from unwarranted penalties and legal repercussions. The laws are pretty clear on where you can and cannot ride these bikes, who can operate them, and what you must carry while doing so.
If you find yourself facing traffic offense charges involving a motorized bicycle in New Jersey, it’s highly advisable to consult with a criminal defense law firm well-versed in New Jersey traffic laws. A qualified legal team can help navigate the complexities of the law and potentially reduce or eliminate the penalties you may face.
Legal hurdles can be confusing and intimidating. You don’t need to face them alone. The traffic offense lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall will help you through each step, ensuring you have a strong defense. Contact us today by calling (855) 925-4034 or get in touch with us online to set up a consultation.