Failure to pass to right of vehicle proceeding in opposite direction (N.J.S.A. 39:4-84)

Traffic Ticket-Dan T. MatrafajloIf you’re driving your car along a New Jersey roadway and you pass a car that’s proceeding in the opposite direction, you must pass that car on the right side of the road and give that other car a space of at least half the road so the cars can pass each other without colliding. Failure to do this constitutes a violation of New Jersey traffic law. In this article, New Jersey traffic ticket attorney Dan T. Matrafajlo will explain to you what this law says, and what happens if you violate it.

The law: N.J.S.A. 39:4-84

The New Jersey law that prohibits passing to the left of a vehicle proceeding in the opposite direction is N.J.S.A. 39:4-84, which says:

“Drivers of vehicles proceeding in opposite directions shall pass each other to the right, each giving to the other at least one-half of the available traveled portion of the highway as nearly as possible.”

MVC points and penalties

This traffic violation carries with it some severe consequences. The New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission (MVC) will penalize you by adding five points to your driving record. When you get six or more points on your driving record, you’ll be fined a surcharge. Twelve or more points mean that the MVC will suspend your driver’s license.


The fine for failing to pass right when proceeding in opposite directions is $85. However, if this is done in a designated safe corridor, construction zone, or a 65 mile-per-hour area, the fine is $140.

The municipal court can also penalize you with a fine anywhere between $50 and $200 and/or imprisonment in state prison for up to 15 days.

Insurance rates

The gravity of this violation is also mirrored in the amount of points that New Jersey-licensed automobile insurers add to your “insurance eligibility points.” Five points will be added to your record; this means that you’ll face increased surcharges on your insurance payments. If you get seven or more points on your record, you will not be able to get insurance coverage through the voluntary market; instead, you’ll have to purchase a more expensive at-risk plan through the New Jersey Personal Automobile Insurance Plan (NJPAIP).




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