Failure to keep right (N.J.S.A. 39:4-82)

As a driver, you must drive your car on the right side of the roadway unless it’s a one-way street, you’re trying to pass another car, or it’s not reasonable to do so. Failure to keep right constitutes a violation of New Jersey traffic law. If you swerve onto the left side of the road, or if you’re not careful to stay to the right side of the yellow line, you can get a traffic ticket for violating N.J.S.A. 39:4-82. Here, New Jersey traffic ticket lawyer Dan T. Matrafajlo will provide an overview of the pertinent law and the consequences of breaking that law.

The law: N.J.S.A. 39:4-82

The New Jersey law that directly pertains to driving on the right side of the road is N.J.S.A. 39:4-82, which says:

“Upon all highways of sufficient width, except upon one-way streets, the driver of a vehicle shall drive it on the right half of the roadway. He shall drive a vehicle as closely as possible to the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway, unless it is impracticable to travel on that side of the roadway, and except when overtaking and passing another vehicle subject to the provisions of sections 39:4-84 and 39:4-85 of this Title.”

MVC points & penalties

Aside from court fines and penalties, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) will penalize a conviction for failing to keep right by adding two points to your driving record. Any time you get six or more points on your record within three years, you’ll be fined. If your point total meets or exceeds 12 points, your license will be automatically suspended.


The traffic ticket fine for failure to keep to the right of the road is $185.00. If you commit this violation in a designated safe corridor or a construction zone, the ticket is $290.00.

Insurance rates

New Jersey-licensed automobile insurers will also take note of your traffic violation. Two points will be added to your “insurance eligibility points” record. The more points you accumulate, the higher your insurance premium will be. Plus, if you accumulate too many points, you won’t be able to purchase insurance in the voluntary market; instead, you’ll have to get coverage through the more expensive New Jersey Personal Automobile Insurance Plan (NJPAIP).




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