The Blizzard of 2015… In New Jersey, it was the event that never was. However, it is still a good time to remind people of their obligations toy remove snow from their car when it snows, imposed by motor vehicle statute 39:4-77.1, which requires that “Each driver of a motor vehicle operated on a street or highway in the state shall have an affirmative duty to make all reasonable efforts to remove accumulated ice or snow from exposed surfaces of the motor vehicle prior to operation, which surfaces shall include, but not be limited to, the hood, trunk, windshield, windows, and roof of the motor vehicle, the cab of the truck, the top of the trailer or semitrailer being drawn by a motor vehicle, and the top of the intermodal freight container being carried by an intermodal chassis.”
New Jersey roadways are legendary. A densely populated state, where everyone drives everywhere, the congestion on our main roads and highways is the stuff nightmares are made of. When people compare roadways to “parking lots” – many cars, none of them moving- you know it’s bad. And that applies to Route 18 in East Brunswick into New Brunswick, Route 287, the Garden State Parkway, and of course the New Jersey Turnpike, to name just a few. With that many people and that much traffic, there are bound to be more than a few accidents. Whether they are “fender benders” or major collisions, a motorist has an obligation to remain at the scene of the accident, and report it to the police. Failure to do so will result in summonses for 39:4-129 Leaving the Scene of an Accident (in NJ the statute is technically called Action in Case of Accident), and 39:4-130 Failure to Report Accident (In NJ technically called Immediate Notice of Accident). Even worse, if you’ve left the scene of an accident where an individual sustained serious bodily injury, you will also be charged criminally with 2C:12-1.1 Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in serious Bodily Injury– A third degree indictable offense where, per the statute, the presumption against incarceration for a first time offender does not apply! Very serious stuff.
The penalty for driving without insurance in New Jersey is severe. In many ways, it is worse than a first offense DWI. A person who is convicted for a first offense of driving their car, or letting someone else drive their car, without insurance, will lose their driving privileges for 1 year, and pay a fine of between $300 and $1,000. The judge may also impose community service. In comparison, even a first offense for a second tier DWI only has a 7 month loss of license. If you’ve been charged with this offense you are likely in disbelief as to how serious the consequences are. As a New Jersey traffic attorney who has defended countless clients in municipal court for this offense, I have mixed feelings about these penalties.
You’ve seen them all around the state, silently lurking at intersections like tireless, robotic sentinels, waiting for you to make a mistake. Maybe you haven’t noticed them, and you’ve been in the unfortunate majority who have received a ticket in the mail…For running a red light. Hey, at least you get a nifty picture of your car for free! I’m talking about red light cameras. There are 76 operational red light cameras in New Jersey that were installed pursuant to a five year pilot program in order to determine the effectiveness of these cameras in monitoring traffic control signals. To see the locations of these cameras, click here. The stated purpose in doing this was to address, “crashes associated with red light running”, and to supplement “traditional, overburdened enforcement resources.” However, two rather large questions surround their use; Do they work, and are they fair?