Driving on public or private property to avoid a traffic sign or signal (NJSA 39:4-66.2)

If you’re driving along a road and you see a red light ahead of you, you might be tempted to just take a “shortcut” through someone else’s property or a parking lot so you can avoid stopping at the signal. However, this is against the law in New Jersey. In this article, New Jersey traffic ticket lawyer Dan T. Matrafajlo explains what you need to know if you get a ticket for driving on public or private property to avoid a traffic sign or signal.

The law: N.J.S.A. 39:4-66.2

The law that that applies here is N.J.S.A. 39:4-66.2. The law says that except for emergency vehicles (such as a fire truck) or at the direction of a law enforcement officer, you can’t drive your car on public property (except on public roads or highways) or private property (regardless of whether you have permission of the owner) for the purpose of avoiding a traffic control signal or sign.

If you violate this provision, then the law says that you will be liable for a penalty ranging from $50.00 to $200.000 and/or imprisonment for up to 15 days.

MVC points and penalties

In addition, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) will penalize you by adding two points to your driving record. Points violations will stay on your driving record, but you can get up to three points subtracted for each year that you don’t have a traffic violation or license suspension. If you accumulate 12 or more points on your driving record, your license will be suspended. In addition, the judge has the discretion to suspend your license for willfully violating traffic laws, including N.J.S.A. 39:4-66.2.

Insurance rates

You may also face a separate penalty outside the court system: New Jersey-licensed automobile insurance providers keep track of your driving record and have an “insurance eligibility points” system. If you are convicted for violating N.J.S.A. 39:4-66.2, your auto insurer will add two insurance points, and you will face an increase in your insurance rates.

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