There are many reasons why the police may pull you over, and once they do, you might end up getting tickets for other things besides what got you on the side of the road in the first place! That said, why drive around giving them reasons beyond that, which may seem innocuous to you, but could still get you into trouble.
So to help you out, I am setting forth five things that you might be doing that could get you pulled over!
Failure to Keep Right
This is one that I don't think occurs to people on the road, so it's probably the worst one. Most people know that they should "keep right except to pass," but this can get confusing where there are more than two lanes.
If you are driving the New Jersey Turnpike, Atlantic City Expressway, or one of the interstates, there are going to be three lanes. What people don't know is, is that the right hand lane is for thru traffic (not just for those getting on and getting off), while the middle lane (where people tend to drive) is for trucks to pass. The leftmost lane is for you to pass.
So to be on the safe side, stay all the way to the right unless you are passing a slowpoke!
License Plate Frames
We see them all the time on the road; it is a great way to advertise a car dealership, a cause, or how much you love your dog. Unfortunately, they can also get you a traffic ticket. But having one is a bad idea!
Under New Jersey law, more specifically, N.J.S.A. 39:3-33, a motorist cannot "display unclear or indistinct license plates." This applies to both the front and rear plates on a vehicle. The only exception is the placing of an EZPass transponder on the front license plate.
It is far from a serious offense, as it carries a $54 fine, but again, it has the effect of giving the police an excuse. Don't do it; get a screwdriver and take it off!
Items Hanging from Rearview Mirror/GPS Devices
Many of us, I am sure, have a bad habit of hanging things from our rear view mirrors. I am not talking about parking garage passes and smaller items; I mean those things that hang down a ways from the mirror itself. This can be a problem.
New Jersey law states that "[N]o person shall drive any vehicle so constructed, equipped or loaded as to unduly interfere with the driver's vision to the front and to the sides." In other words, you can get pulled over for hanging on your mirror those beads from last Mardi Gras or your high school/college graduation tassel.
This same is also true for GPS devices (or your cell phone with Google Maps) attached to the windshield with a suction cup. Take it off and get a stand/holder that rests on the dashboard!
Failure to Maintain Lane
Weaving in the road, or "Failure to Maintain Lane," is the most common probable cause given for drunk driving stops. Even if you're driving sober, it's still giving the police a reason to pull you over and then find other reasons to give you tickets. Stay in your lane!
Not Signaling a Lane Change
Similar to Failure to Maintain Lane is failing to signal a lane change or "Unsafe Lane Change." I have seen too many people get into trouble for other things once pulled over because they forgot to use their turn signal when they changed lanes.
Get into the habit of signaling when you move over on the road and be sure to check your blind spot. Aside from minimizing your chances of being pulled over, you are less likely to get into an accident.
What To Do If They Get You!
If you have received a ticket in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem or Cumberland County, please feel free to call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule an appointment for a free consultation in my Woodbury office. If you are out of state or out of the area, this can be done by phone.
If you are looking for more information on New Jersey's traffic laws, then download my free book, A Guide to Driving Legally in NJ, and Surviving Traffic Court If You Don't.
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