Somewhere you remember someone warning you. However, it seems a bit preposterous that you could get a traffic summons just because you decided to avoid a red light. Ridiculous or not – it’s something that has just become your new reality.
Here’s what happened to a recent client tired after working behind the bar at a local eatery. Admittedly, he takes the same route each and every evening. As he neared the upcoming intersection, he noticed the light was red. No other cars were in sight.
Once again, the young bartender was very familiar with the roadway and knew there was a “no turn on red” sign. It was late – but certainly not worth the risk of the police coming out if nowhere and detaining him for making the right on red.
Instead, our client decided that it made better sense to take a shortcut and avoid stopping at the traffic signal. His actions were calculated. As he made his way towards the red light, the tired bartender made a right turn into a parking lot. This puts him on the other side and essentially equates to a right at the light. It seemed like an ingenious move.
For a brief second, it might have seemed smart. However, there was a police car parked in the lot who saw the move. Talk about confusion, When the police pulled over the young man, he figured he was okay. After all, at that hour, the police were most likely looking for people driving while intoxicated.
Against the Law to Avoid Stopping at a Light
Truth be told, maneuvers taken to avoid stopping at a red light are against the law in New Jersey.
According to N.J.S.A. 39:4-66.2, you will be ticketed for driving on public or private property to avoid a traffic sign or signal. The statute states that only emergency vehicles or motorists following the orders of law enforcement authorities may take shortcuts to avoid red lights.
If you are convicted of a cut-through maneuver to avoid a traffic light or sign you will be liable for a penalty of $50 to $200 and could actually face county jail time for up to 15 days. You will also be assessed two points to your driving record and may face increased insurance rates.
All is not lost, however. You may get the charge dismissed if you can prove that your act was not purposeful.
New Jersey is one of the few states that ticket drivers for avoiding a red light or sign. Other states include Virginia, Arizona, and Florida.
Contact a New Jersey Ticket Lawyer
If you have been ticketed for avoiding a traffic light in New Jersey, we can help. The Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo are experienced in New Jersey traffic ticket laws. Call now for a free consultation.