Failure to obey direction of officer (N.J.S.A. 39:4-80)

If you see an officer on the road that is directing traffic, you must follow that officer’s directives, or else you will be issued a traffic ticket. In this article, experienced New Jersey traffic ticket lawyer Dan T. Matrafajlo will explain to you what this law is, and what it can mean for you.

The law: N.J.S.A. 39:4-80

The law in New Jersey that governs following traffic control directions by officers is N.J.S.A. 39:4-80, which says:

“When a traffic or police officer is stationed in a highway for the purpose of directing traffic, he may regulate and control traffic at that point, and all drivers of vehicles shall obey his orders and directions, notwithstanding anything contained in this article.”

MVC points and penalties

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) documents any traffic violation by adding points to your driving record whenever you’re convicted of a motor vehicle violation. Failing to obey the direction of an officer pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-80 will result in the addition of 2 points to your driving record by the MVC. If you ever accumulate 12 or more points on your record, your driver’s license will be suspended.


The traffic fine for disregarding an officer who is directing traffic is $85. However, when this violation occurs in a designated safe corridor, construction zone, or a 65 mile-per-hour zone, the fine is raised to $140.

The municipal court can also fine you anywhere between $50 and $200 for the violation and/or imprison you in state prison for up to 15 days. Also, the judge has the discretion to suspend your driver’s license for a willful violation of this law.

Insurance rates

New Jersey-licensed automobile insurers use an entirely separate, but similar, points system known as “insurance eligibility points.” Every time you have a traffic violation, points will be added. This will affect how much you have to pay for the insurance premiums. For a conviction for failure to obey the direction of an officer, your insurance company will add two points. If your record ever reaches seven or more points, you won’t be able to purchase insurance through the voluntary market; instead, you’ll have to get the more expensive “at risk” coverage through the New Jersey Personal Automobile Insurance Plan (NJPAIP).





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