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  1. #1
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    Mar 2013
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    26

    Default New Jersey Traffic Law Interpretation- Passing on the Right

    I didn't get in any trouble with the law, this is just for my own FYI. I was looking for a specific NJ traffic law and stumbled upon this by accident:

    Section: 39:4-40: Passing street car

    The driver of a vehicle shall not overtake and pass upon the left, a street car proceeding in the same direction, whether actually in motion or temporarily at rest, when a travelable portion of the highway exists to the right of the street car, even though that portion of the highway is occupied by traffic, but this provision shall not apply to one-way streets.

    The driver of a vehicle overtaking a street car, stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging a passenger, shall bring the vehicle to a full stop, at least ten feet in the rear of the nearest entrance or exit of the street car then in use, and shall remain stationary until the passenger has boarded the car or reached the adjacent sidewalk. Where a safety zone has been established, a vehicle if otherwise permitted to proceed need not be brought to a full stop before passing the street car but may proceed past the car at a speed not greater than is reasonable and proper and with due caution for the safety of pedestrians.
    https://law.justia.com/codes/new-jer...ction-39-4-40/

    Huh? It seems to be saying that when there is a lane, or room, to the right of a vehicle, I can't pass that vehicle on the left (what we call the "passing lane" in NJ) even if the lane to the right is crowded with other vehicles. Am I reading that wrong?

  2. #2
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: New Jersey Traffic Law Interpretation- Passing on the Right

    Quote Quoting Muleskinner
    View Post
    Am I reading that wrong?
    Yes. I think you are not old enough to know what a "street car" is.

    39:4-39 might give you a hint:

    Section: 39:4-39: Distance to be kept behind street car

    A driver of a vehicle when following a street car, upon the street car tracks, shall keep at least ten feet behind the car.
    https://law.justia.com/codes/new-jer...ction-39-4-39/

    I don't know if NJ even has street cars anymore. Here's what they look like in San Francisco:

    https://freetoursbyfoot.com/wp-conte...-Streetcar.jpg

    If you see anything like that on tracks in NJ, obey the statute.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    1,960

    Default Re: New Jersey Traffic Law Interpretation- Passing on the Right

    This is a streetcar (or "street car") in NJ:


  4. #4
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    Sep 2010
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    19,424

    Default Re: New Jersey Traffic Law Interpretation- Passing on the Right

    I haven't been on one in 20+ years, but I used to ride those in the Newark subway between Penn Station and the Rutgers Newark campus. While parts of the lines operate above ground and cross the surface streets at grade, I don't think there's anywhere that this passing rule would apply (the streetcars pass in their own dedicated lanes other than crossings). I don't know of any place else in the state that has them in modern memory.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    26

    Default Re: New Jersey Traffic Law Interpretation- Passing on the Right

    Doh! Thanks, guys! Mystery solved.

    But I am supposed to beep every time I pass someone on an interstate including cops, right?

    https://law.justia.com/codes/new-jer...ction-39-4-85/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    17,483

    Default Re: New Jersey Traffic Law Interpretation- Passing on the Right

    "horn or other warning device."
    I suggest flashing your lights as the "other warning device."

    Horn honking ticks people off.

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