When you approach an intersection, there are several rules governing who should proceed first, and who should yield the right of way.
The law: N.J.S.A. 39:4-90
The law in New Jersey directly relating to yielding at intersections is N.J.S.A. 39:4-90. The law states that:
(1) If you are a driver of a vehicle and you are 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 are 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 are 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.
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.
If you just received a Failure to yield at intersection ticket (NJSA 39:4-90) in the State of New Jersey and have questions, our Attorneys are glad to speak with you and provide the clarity and peace of mind you’re looking for.