Reckless v. Careless Driving – What Is the Difference in New Jersey?
Drivers in the Garden State must abide by the rules and regulations of the road set by the state legislature. When a driver fails to abide by these laws, it can result in fines, penalties, and other consequences. Being familiar with the laws can help avoid a traffic violation.
The most important law to follow is driving safely on the road. However, drivers do not always heed this law. Careless and reckless driving can be a serious offense on New Jersey roads. Although these two words may seem very similar, careless driving and reckless driving are two different violations with different consequences. Reckless driving is a more serious offense of the two.
What Is Careless Driving?
Careless driving is when a motorist drives dangerously on the road without intent to do. So, if law enforcement pulls you over for careless driving and issues a traffic citation, it means you were driving in a dangerous manner without meaning to. Examples of careless driving include:
- Running a red light
- Failing to stop at a stop sign
- Changing lanes without using your signal
Reckless driving is similar to careless driving, with one major difference: if you are pulled over for reckless driving it means you are driving dangerously on purpose. In other words, it was not that you weren’t simply paying attention to traffic laws, but rather that you chose to drive dangerously.
Most of the reasons you can get a traffic citation for are the same as those you can receive a careless driving ticket for. The only distinction is your intent at the time you committed the infraction. For example, if you ran a red light because you didn’t see it turn red, you can get a ticket for careless driving because you unintentionally ran the light. However, if you ran a red light because you were late for meeting your friend at dinner, that is considered reckless driving because you intentionally ran the light.
Reckless driving is a more serious offense under New Jersey law because it involves the intentions of the motorist. A citation for reckless driving will include more serious consequences because it is considered more dangerous and can put others in harm’s way.
Call a New Jersey Driver’s Traffic Ticket Attorney Today
If you or someone you know has gotten a ticket and wants to avoid a conviction, an experienced attorney can help. Fighting traffic violation tickets are especially important if you are a CDL license holder.
Call Beninato & Matrafajlo Attorneys at Law, LLC at 908-355-7100 to schedule a free consultation with our legal team today to see how we can help you fight your ticket.