Driving on sidewalk (N.J.S.A. 39:4-71)

According to New Jersey law, with a few exceptions, you are not allowed to drive your vehicle on a sidewalk or allow your car to stand on a sidewalk. If you get caught driving on a sidewalk, you will get a traffic ticket for it. Here, experienced traffic ticket lawyer Dan T. Matrafajlo will explain what this law can mean for you.

The Law: N.J.S.A. 39:4-71

The law that applies here is N.J.S.A. 39:4-71, which says:

“No person shall drive or back a horse or vehicle across, or allow the same to stand on a sidewalk unless it be in crossing the sidewalk to go into a yard or lot, and then not without the consent of the owner of the premises. This section shall not prohibit the passing of a horse or vehicle over a sidewalk in front of an alley or passageway with the owner’s consent, or any municipality from driving or operating or causing to be driven or operated along or over the sidewalks within the municipality any vehicle for the purpose of maintaining or cleaning said sidewalks.”

MVC Points and Penalties

In addition to court-imposed penalties and fines, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) will assess a penalty. If you are convicted for driving on a sidewalk, the MVC will add two points to your driving record. Points accumulating on your driving record can have a negative outcome: six points within three years means you are subject to an automatic surcharge, and 12 or more points mean that your license will get suspended.

Fines

The fine for driving on a sidewalk is $54. However, if you commit this moving violation in a designated safe corridor or a construction zone, the fine is increased to $72.

Insurance Rates

New Jersey-licensed automobile insurance carriers will also add two “insurance eligibility points” for your violation of driving on a sidewalk. The higher the insurance point total, the higher your insurance premium will be. If you accumulate too many points, you’ll have trouble finding insurance on the voluntary market, and you might have to get coverage through an “at risk” plan with the New Jersey Personal Automobile Insurance Plan (NJAIP).

 

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