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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    1

    Default Careless Driving After Passing a Car in New Jersey

    I got a ticket for careless driving in Highland Park (NJ) today. I am not sure if I am really guilty or not and I would really appreciate if somebody can explain me why I am guilty and how should I defend myself.

    This is what happened:

    Please see the picture
    http://www.physics.rutgers.edu/~haule/ticket.jpg .

    The blue car on the picture is police car which stopped me later. The black car was standing and had a sign for the right turn. This car was not moving for some time.

    The red line on the picture corresponds to my path. I slowly passed the stopped car because I was sure it was stopped to park on the street. There was just enough space for side parking.

    The police officer saw me passing by and said the black car wanted to turn right and could not because somebody was walking across the street. I did not see any pedestrians.

    My question is: Is it illegal to pass in this situation? There was no other car close by and no danger for anybody when I was passing. I was passing really slowly.

    Can I try to make the case that I did not violate any law?

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Ontario
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    174

    Default Re: Careless Driving After Passing a Car in New Jersey

    Based on your description, I don't see what the officers problem is here. I'm only familiar with Canadian traffic law, but I doubt there is an American law that says you can't pass a stopped vehicle if done so safely. In fact, up here the car wouldn't even have to be stopped.

    I suspect the cop was making a right. When he saw the car stopped, he proceeded to go but was surprised to see you suddenly appear to his left. This upset him and his anger clouded his judgement. Just my opinion though. I would plead not-guilty and file for Discovery to see what his version of events will be at trial. You can always change your plea AFTER seeing his notes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Michigan
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    28,906

    Default Re: Careless Driving After Passing a Car in New Jersey

    If there was a pedestrian crossing the road, and the car was stopped to let the pedestrian pass, I can see why the officer would issue the ticket.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    5,437

    Default Re: Careless Driving After Passing a Car in New Jersey

    Quote Quoting aaron
    View Post
    If there was a pedestrian crossing the road, and the car was stopped to let the pedestrian pass, I can see why the officer would issue the ticket.
    Right.

    Also, when you are NOT in your lane of traffic and get a ticket, you will be hard pressed to beat that ticket.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Careless Driving After Passing a Car in New Jersey

    please see some of other my replies to careless driving in NJ.. basically you go to court and try to downgrade the 39:4-97 "2-point" careless driving ticket to a o-point offense like "improper driving" or "obstructing traffic".. you have to pay a fine..its pretty common in NJ courts...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Ontario
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    174

    Default Re: Careless Driving After Passing a Car in New Jersey

    Quote Quoting aaron
    View Post
    If there was a pedestrian crossing the road, and the car was stopped to let the pedestrian pass, I can see why the officer would issue the ticket.
    I assumed the pedestrian was crossing along the adjacent crosswalk and had nothing to do with Haul's line of motion. I Could be wrong.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Michigan
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    28,906

    Default Re: Careless Driving After Passing a Car in New Jersey

    I decided to check New Jersey's statutes to see how they cover this type of situation - out of the frying pan, into the fire?
    Quote Quoting 39:4-36 Driver to yield to pedestrian, exceptions; violations, penalties.
    39:4-36. a. The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except at crosswalks when the movement of traffic is being regulated by police officers or traffic control signals, or where otherwise prohibited by municipal, county, or State regulation, and except where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided, but no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield. Nothing contained herein shall relieve a pedestrian from using due care for his safety.

    Whenever any vehicle is stopped to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.

    Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

    Nothing contained herein shall relieve a driver from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.

    b. A person violating this section shall, upon conviction thereof, pay a fine to be imposed by the court in the amount of $100. The court may also impose a term of imprisonment not to exceed 15 days.

    c. Of each fine imposed and collected pursuant to subsection b. of this section, $50 shall be forwarded to the State Treasurer who shall annually deposit the moneys into the "Pedestrian Safety Enforcement and Education Fund" created by section 1 of P.L.2005, c.86 (C.39:4-36.2)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Careless Driving After Passing a Car in New Jersey

    Surely this must mean "crossing directly across the path of the stopped car", no? Or would it include the crosswalk to the right (as shown on Haule's map)? I could see many situations where a following car would not be able to see a pedestrian crossing on the adjacent walkway. Haules explanation about "parking" may have some weight to it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Careless Driving After Passing a Car in New Jersey

    Why would it have to mean that? It certainly doesn't say that.

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