Failure to yield at intersection (NJSA 39:4-90)

When you approach an intersection, there are several rules governing who should proceed first, and who should yield the right of way. In this article, New Jersey traffic ticket attorney Dan T. Matrafajlo will lay out the laws regarding yielding at intersections. If you’re ticketed for failure to yield at an intersection, here’s what you need to know:

The law: N.J.S.A. 39:4-90

The law in New Jersey that directly relates to yielding at intersections is N.J.S.A. 39:4-90. It says that:

(1)   If you’re a driver of a vehicle and you’re approaching an intersection, you need to yield the right of way to a vehicle that has already entered the intersection. When two vehicles enter the intersection at the same time, the driver to the left must yield the right of way to the driver on the right.

(2)   If you’re the driver of a vehicle and you intend to make a left turn at an intersection, you must yield the right of way to a vehicle that’s approaching the intersection from the opposite direction if that vehicle is close enough to you so as to constitute an immediate hazard. But after yielding, and after giving a signal, you may make the left turn. When you’re making the left turn, other vehicles that are approaching the intersection from the opposite direction must yield to you.

MVC points and penalties

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) will penalize you for failing to yield at an intersection by adding two points to your driving record. If you accumulate six or more points on your New Jersey driving record in three years, you will need to pay a surcharge. If you get 12 or more points, the MVC will suspend your driver’s license. You may get points reduced from your record by taking an MVC-approved defensive driving course, a driver improvement program, or a probationary driver program.


The fine for failure to yield at an intersection is $85. However, if you fail to yield in a designated safe corridor, construction zone, or 65 mile-per-hour area, the fine is increased to $140.

The court can impose additional penalties by fining you a minimum of $50 to a maximum of $200 and/or imprisoning you in state prison for up to 15 days. The judge may also, at his discretion, suspend your driver’s license for willful violation of this traffic law.

Insurance rates

Using an “insurance eligibility points” system that is similar to, but separate from, the MVC points system, the New Jersey-licensed automobile insurers will also keep track of your traffic violation by adding two points. The more points you get, the higher your insurance premiums will become. If you ever get seven or more insurance eligibility points, you will be barred from getting automobile insurance on the voluntary market. Instead you’ll have to go through the New Jersey Personal Automobile Insurance Plan (NJPAIP) to get the more expensive, at-risk coverage.





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