Failure to Signal a Stop or Turn (NJSA 39:4-126)
In this article, New Jersey traffic ticket attorneys Dan Matrafajlo will explain New Jersey Annotated Statute 39:4-126, which requires the use of turn signals and brake lights or hand signals. The statute starts by stating that a person shall not turn at an intersection, enter a private road or driveway, move right or left in a roadway, or start or back a vehicle unless it is safe to do so. It then goes on to say that an appropriate signal must be used whenever the movement may affect other traffic.
Specifically, the statute says that “a signal of intention to turn right or left when required shall be given continuously during not less than the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning” and that “no person shall stop or suddenly decrease the speed of a vehicle without first giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided herein to the driver of any vehicle immediately to the rear.”
Electronic and Hand Signals
Turns and stops are most commonly signaled using “electrical signal devices” (turn signals and brake lights), but the law also allows for the required signals to be given using the hand and arm (as long as the hand signal it is visible from the front and the rear of the vehicle).
To give a hand signal, a driver needs to extend his hand and arm beyond the left side of the vehicle (e.g., through the driver’s window). The appropriate hand signals to indicate turning and stopping are:
Left turn: Hand and arm extended horizontally.
Right turn: Hand and arm extended upward.
Stop or decrease speed: Hand and arm extended downward.
Fines and Other Penalties
A failure to signal a stop or turn is punishable by an $85 fine. In addition, you will get two points on your New Jersey driving record. Points are cumulative and do not expire. If you accumulate enough points (because of subsequent traffic violations), you will incur a $150 fine after six points or a license suspension after 12 points.
Three points will be removed from your driving record for each year you go without a traffic violation or license suspension. You can also earn points by participating in approved safe-driver programs, though there is a limit to how many points you can earn in this way.
A guilty plea or conviction of violating NJSA 39:4-126 will also result in higher car insurance premiums because it gets you two “insurance eligibility points.” These points are used to determine how much you must pay for auto insurance, and if you accumulate more than seven, you may be forced to buy insurance through the more expensive New Jersey Personal Automobile Insurance Plan (NJPAIP).
New Jersey Traffic Ticket Attorney Dan Matrafajlo Can Help
If you have been accused of failing to signal a stop or turn, don’t pay the ticket without considering the consequences. A paid traffic ticket is a guilty plea, and you could face increased insurance rates or even a suspended license. Call New Jersey traffic ticket attorney Dan Matrafajlo at (908) 248-4404 to schedule a free consultation.