Improper passing in no passing zone (NJSA 39:4-86)

When you’re driving your car along a New Jersey roadway, you must overtake and pass other cars properly, and you cannot cross “no passing” lines. Failure to do so will result in you getting a New Jersey traffic ticket. In this article, New Jersey traffic ticket lawyer Dan T. Matrafajlo will describe the law regarding improper passing, and what this can mean for you.

The law: N.J.S.A. 39:4-86

According to the applicable New Jersey law, N.J.S.A. 39:4-86:

(1)   The driver of a vehicle may not drive left of the center of a highway to pass another car going in the same direction unless that left side is clearly visible and free of oncoming traffic for a long enough distance ahead to allow you to overtake the car safely.

(2)   The driver of a vehicle may not drive left of the center of a highway to pass another car going in the same direction where the road is the crest of a grade or upon a curve unless the driver can see a distance of at least 500 feet ahead.

(3)   Unless directed by a traffic or police officer or when the lane that the driver is driving on is obstructed or impassable, the driver of a vehicle may not pass a “No Passing” line in a “No Passing” zone.

MVC points and penalties

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) will penalize a violation of this law by adding four points to your New Jersey driving record. If you accumulate six or more points within three years, you will be fined a surcharge by the MVC. Twelve or more points will result in the suspension of your driver’s license.

There are ways to get points subtracted from your record. If you go for an entire year without a violation or suspension, three points will be deducted from your driving record. You can take an MVC-approved defensive driving course to reduce three points once every five years, a driver improvement program once every two years to reduce three points, or a probationary driver program to reduce three points.


Failure to overtake and pass properly, or crossing a “no passing” line, will result in a traffic ticket fine of $85. If you commit this violation in a designated safe corridor, construction zone, or a 65 mile-per-hour area, the fine is $140.

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

Insurance rates

New Jersey-licensed automobile insurance providers also keep a system that’s similar to but different from the MVC points system. It’s called the “insurance eligibility points” system, and for violation of this law you’ll get four points added. The more points you get, the higher your insurance premiums will be.




  • Cambridge
  • Superlawyers
  • New jercy association for justice
  • AVVO


Free Case Evaluation

Please fill out the following form and we will contact you as soon as possible.