Unsafe Lane Change in New Jersey

Unsafe Lane Change Attorney Located in Glen Rock, NJ

In New Jersey, statute number 39:4-88B is also known as an unsafe lane change, or failure to observe traffic lanes. Unsafe lane changes have to do with roads separated by clear lanes markers. When clear markers are designating which lane is which, drivers are responsible for ensuring they change lanes only when there is ample free space to do so. Generally, vehicles are normally driven in the lane nearest the right-hand edge of the curb when that lane is available for travel, except when overtaking another vehicle or in preparation for a left turn.

What is an Unsafe Lane Change?

When a person receives their driver’s license, they are trusted to operate a vehicle safely. There are many different actions that can be considered dangerous driving, such as unsafe lane changes. This is a common traffic violation that is seen on the roads in the state of New Jersey. It is defined under NJSA 39:4-88 as the following:

  • “…a vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely with a single lane and shall not be moved from that lane until the driver has ascertained that the movement can be made with safety.”

In addition to this, when a highway is divided into several lanes, a vehicle shall not be driven in the left lane except when overtaking or passing another vehicle, while preparing to make a left turn, or if the center lane is at the time allocated for traffic moving in the direction the vehicle is proceeding and is signposted to give notice of that allocation.

What are the Penalties of an Unsafe Lane Change?

Drivers who violate the rules of the road, such as engaging in unsafe lane changes, can face certain penalties as a result of their actions. This can include the following:

  • 2 points on their driver’s license for each offense. If the driver accumulates 6 points or more, they can be required to pay a surcharge of $150 each year, with an additional $25 for each point over 6 points, for three years. 
  • A fine between $50 and $200 for each offense. This can be doubled if the offense is committed in a safe corridor, construction zone, or 65-mph zone.
  • Possible imprisonment for up to 15 days

It is important to not underestimate the severity of unsafe lane change charges. In many cases, points on your license can cause your insurance premiums to skyrocket, especially if you already had points prior to the offense. This means that you will be paying this offense for years down the road. Additionally, and rather obviously, if you spend time in jail, you will then have a criminal record that can follow you for years, or, in some cases, for life. There is nothing more burdensome than a record stating you went to jail, and nobody ever wants to check “yes” in the box that asks them if they’ve ever been arrested. What’s more, if you already have a certain amount of points on your license, a 2-point violation could be all it takes to push you over the edge and have your license suspended. This is every motorists’ worst nightmare, as a license suspension can prevent you from going to work, seeing your friends, and more.

Can I Lose My License Due to an Unsafe Lane Change?

When a driver is charged with several traffic violations, it is possible for them to lose their driver’s license entirely. This revokes their privilege to operate a vehicle. While a judge is not required to suspend a driver’s license if they are found to be guilty of an unsafe lane change, they can do so at their own discretion if they believe a more severe penalty should be imposed. This may be the case if the driver committed the offense knowingly, thus injuring another person in the process.

What are Common Defenses to an Unsafe Lane Change Ticket?

A conviction of a moving violation charge under NJSA 39:4-88 often depends on the testimony of the police officer who issued the driver the ticket in addition to the driver’s testimony. When dealing with situations such as these, there is a chance that a skilled traffic ticket attorney can work to negotiate an agreement with the prosecutor in order to reduce the violation against the driver. This can possibly result in a violation that carries no points against their driving record, thus avoiding an increase in insurance premiums as well. It is because of this that it is important for individuals facing these situations to retain the services of an attorney who can help minimize these charges and the impact they have on their future.

Contact Our Office Today

That being said, you should not fear–our firm is skilled in combatting unfair and unwarranted traffic violations on behalf of our clients, which is why we know we are the right firm for you. No matter the traffic offense, we will faithfully represent your rights, every step of the way to have your charges mitigated, or, in some cases, dropped altogether. If you are facing a New Jersey traffic violation, you must not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Carl Spector today. We are here to help.

Read Our Blog Posts