Improper Turn at Traffic Light (NJSA 39:4-115)
Section 39:4-115 of the New Jersey Annotated Statutes describes turning at an intersection that is controlled by a traffic light or a police officer. It says that a driver must use proper care to avoid accidents and should only turn upon a “go” signal unless a traffic or police officer or an official sign directs otherwise.
There is an exception for turning right at a red light. If there is no official sign of the state, municipality, or county prohibiting such a turn, a driver may proceed to turn right after coming to a full stop, observing traffic in all directions, and yielding to traffic on the street onto which he is turning and pedestrians in a marked or unmarked crosswalk. As with all right turns (see NJSA 39:4-123), a turn on a red light should be made “as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.”
Penalties for Violating NJSA 39:4-115
If you are convicted of or plead guilty to making an improper turn at a controlled intersection, you will be fined $85 (or $140 in a safe corridor or construction zone). You will also receive three points on your driving record. These points do not expire (though three points will be subtracted for each year in which you don’t get a traffic ticket or a suspended license), and if you accumulate enough of them, you can face severe penalties. If you receive six or more points in any three-year period, you will need to pay a $150 fine, plus $25 for each point above six. If you have 12 points on your record at any time, your driver’s license will be suspended.
A judge also has the power to suspend your driver’s license for any willful violation of a New Jersey traffic statute. This includes violations of NJSA 39:4-115.
Auto insurers in New Jersey use a similar point system to assess the risk that you pose as a driver. For an improper turn at a traffic light, you will be given three “insurance eligibility points,” which will result in higher premiums for three years.
New Jersey Traffic Ticket Lawyer Dan Matrafajlo Can Help
Paying a traffic ticket is equivalent to pleading guilty to the violation. Before you pay your ticket, consider the long-term effects of a guilty plea: three years of increased insurance rates, a fine, and even a possible suspended license (especially if you have prior violations). I have years of experience helping central New Jersey drivers fight their tickets, and I may be able to help you lower your penalties or get the charge dismissed completely. Contact Dan Matrafajlo (908) 248-4404 to schedule a free consultation.