"Unsafe Lane Change; N.J.S.A. 39:4-88"

Unsafe Lane Change; N.J.S.A. 39:4-88 mandates that when a roadway is divided into clearly marked lanes, a vehicle must be driven within a single lane.

In addition, a vehicle shall normally be driven in the lane closest to the right hand edge of the roadway, except when overtaking another vehicle or when preparing for a left turn.

However, "preparing for a left turn" does not allow indefinite travel in the left lane.

In short, the right lane is designated for slow moving vehicles while the left lane is designated for faster moving vehicles.

Conviction of this offense carries a fine up to $200 although the fine may be doubled in a construction zone, safe corridor or 65 MPH zone.

Defendant may be incarcerated up to 15 days although courts never exercise such extreme discretion for this offense.

Although courts are not required to suspend a license following a conviction for making an unsafe lane change, courts may exercise such discretion upon finding that the violation was willful.

The suspension period is left to the discretion of the court.

Again, courts never exercise such extreme discretion following such a charge.

In addition, two motor vehicle and two insurance points attach to a conviction of this offense.

A good alternative plea is pleading guilty to obstructing traffic N.J.S.A 39:4-67.

If the prosecutor does not grant that request then unsafe driving N.J.S.A 39:4-97.2 should be considered, although it should be noted that unsafe driving carries an approximate fine of $400.

Additionally, four points are assessed on one's driving record for a third unsafe driving conviction within five years of a second unsafe driving conviction.

Did You Know

Pursuant to case law police may stop a vehicle under this statute, in Sayreville, New Jersey, for example, if the driver was weaving inside his or her single lane while not even crossing a marked line.

If you have any other questions about an unsafe lane change charge, click here to contact a New Jersey Traffic Lawyer.