How strict are NJ’s driving laws?
New Jersey's among the states with the most extensive laws for motorists and their passengers, according to a state by state analysis.
Using data from the Governors Highway Safety Administration, the website YourMechanic determined New Jersey is the 10th strictest in the nation for driving laws.
Depending on what kind of driver you are, that could be seen as a good or bad thing.
States were scored across various aspects of motor vehicle law, from drunk driving and distracted driving to speed cameras and rules for novice drivers.
In the report, New Jersey scored a 10 out of a possible 10 points for laws targeting the use of electronic devices while behind the wheel. The Garden State prohibits texting or speaking with a handheld phone while driving, and motorists can be pulled over if a cop sees a violation.
"We are ranked 1st with a strict cellphone law. That's not a bad thing," said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
Citing a "distracted driving epidemic," Noble said some states have no ban on hand-held phone use behind the wheel, or texting.
The state also scored toward the higher end for laws related to speed limits and bicycle helmets.
New Jersey is considered more lenient on laws governing seat belts and novice drivers.
"We are one of only four states that doesn't require mandatory practice hours. That's not practice hours with a driving school; that's simply supervised driving with a licensed driver," Noble said of New Jersey's Graduated Driver License program.
The maximum fine for a seat belt violation is $46 in New Jersey. It's a primary law for those in the front seats of a vehicle, and a secondary law for those in the back. New Jersey's seat belt law is not as extreme as in California, where every person in a vehicle must be secured with a belt. A first fine could amount to $162. On the other end of the spectrum, drivers in Arizona can't be pulled over for failure to wear a seat belt. The maximum fine for a secondary offense is $10.
Oregon ranks as the state with the strictest driving laws. South Dakota is the least strict.
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at email@example.com.