Failure to Stop at a Flashing Red Signal (NJSA 39:4-119)
When a New Jersey driver approaches a traffic control signal that is flashing red, he must come to a complete stop before entering the intersection and yield the right of way to traffic on the intersecting street if that traffic is close enough to constitute an immediate hazard.
A flashing yellow light indicates the presence of danger, and requires drivers to proceed with caution.
Penalties for Failure to Observe a Flashing Traffic Signal
Failure to observe a flashing traffic signal carries an $85 fine ($140 in a construction zone). In addition to the fine upfront, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission will add two points to your driving record. The effect of these points may not be apparent at first, but if you have prior New Jersey traffic violations on your record, or if you get more points added for future violations, serious penalties can be triggered.
If you get six points on your driving record in any three-year period, you will be subject to a $150 fine, plus $25 for each additional point. If you have 12 points on your record at any time, your license will be suspended.
Points on your record do not expire, so even minor infractions can cause bigger problems later on. The Motor Vehicle Commission will, however, subtract three points from your total for each year you go without committing another violation or getting your license suspended. You may also earn additional deductions by participating in MVC-approved safe-driving programs, but there is a limit to how many points you can earn this way.
A judge also has the discretion to suspend your license for any willful violation of a New Jersey traffic statute, including NJSA 39:4-119.
Pleading guilty to or being convicted of NJSA 39:4-119 will also earn you two “insurance eligibility points.” These points are used by licensed insurers in the state of New Jersey to determine the risk you pose. The more points you have, the higher your premium will be, and if you accumulate enough points, you may find insurers unwilling to cover you at all.
What Should You Do?
If you have been ticketed for failing to stop at a flashing red traffic light in New Jersey, you’re facing (at a minimum) an $85 fine and an increase in your insurance premium. Depending on the facts of your case and your driving record, you may even be at a risk to have your license suspended. Central New Jersey traffic attorney Dan Matrafajlo can help protect your rights. To learn more, please call (908) 248-4404.