SENATE, No. 567

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2012 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† FRED H. MADDEN, JR.

District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)

Senator† STEPHEN M. SWEENEY

District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Norcross

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Increases penalties for certain motor vehicle right-of-way violations and requires attendance at Driver Improvement Program.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

††


An Act concerning certain motor vehicle violations, amending R.S.39:4-90 and R.S.39:4-144 and supplementing chapter 4 of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† R.S.39:4-90 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 39:4-90.† The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right of† way to a vehicle which has entered the intersection.† When [2] two vehicles enter an intersection at the same time the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right of way to the driver of the vehicle on the right.

†††† The driver of a vehicle within an intersection intending to turn to the left shall yield to a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard, but the driver having so yielded, and having given a signal when and as required by law, may make the left turn; and other vehicles approaching the intersection from the opposite direction shall yield to the driver making the left turn.

†††† In addition to any other penalties that may be imposed pursuant to law, a person who commits a second or subsequent violation of this section shall be fined $200, shall forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle for 30 days, and shall be required to attend a Driver Improvement Program conducted by the commission.

(cf:† P.L.1958, c.114, s.1)

 

†††† 2.††† R.S.39:4-144 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 39:4-144.† No driver of a vehicle or street car shall enter upon or cross an intersecting street marked with a "stop" sign unless the driver has first brought the vehicle or street car to a complete stop at a point within five feet of the nearest crosswalk or stop line marked upon the pavement at the near side of the intersecting street and shall proceed only after yielding the right of way to all traffic on the intersecting street which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.† No driver of a vehicle or street car shall enter upon or cross an intersecting street marked with a "yield right of way" sign without first slowing to a reasonable speed for existing conditions and visibility, stopping if necessary, and the driver shall yield the right of way to all traffic on the intersecting street which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard; unless, in either case, the driver is otherwise directed to proceed by a traffic or police officer or traffic control signal.

†††† In addition to any other penalties that may be imposed pursuant to law, a person who commits a second or subsequent violation of this section shall be fined $200, shall forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle for 30 days, and shall be required to attend a Driver Improvement Program conducted by the commission.

(cf:† P.L.2008, c.9, s.1)

 

†††† 3.††† (New section)† a.† A driver of a vehicle who is convicted under R.S.39:4-90 or R.S.39:4-144 for failure to yield the right-of-way and who is involved in an accident at the time of that violation shall be subject to the following penalties, in addition to those otherwise applicable:

†††† (1)†† If the accident resulted in serious bodily injury to another person, a fine of not less than $500, suspension of his driver's license or non-resident's driving privilege for 90 days, and attendance at a Driver Improvement Program conducted by the commission; and

†††† (2)†† If the accident resulted in the death of another person, a fine of not less than $1,000, suspension of his driver's license or non-resident's driving privilege for six months, and attendance at a Driver Improvement Program conducted by the commission.

†††† b.††† As used in this section, "serious bodily injury" means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

†††† c.†††† The chief administrator may authorize a person who is required under the provisions of this section to attend a Driver Improvement Program to attend a program that is substantially similar to the program conducted by the commission.

 

†††† 4.††† This act shall take effect on the first day of the third month after enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill increases the penalties for subsequent violations of two right-of-way offenses:† failure to yield the right-of-way at an intersection (R.S.39:4-90) or failure to obey stop or yield signs (R.S.39:4-144).† The bill also imposes additional penalties for drivers involved in right-of-way accidents that result in serious bodily injury or death.† The bill is intended to improve traffic safety and to reduce accidents of this type.

†††† Under current law, a person who violates R.S.39:4-90 or R.S.39:4-144 is subject to a fine of $50 to $200, imprisonment for up to 15 days, or both.† Under the provisions of the bill, if a person commits a second or subsequent violation of either section the fine would be $200, and he or she would be required to attend a Driver Improvement Program conducted by the Motor Vehicle Commission.† In addition, the personís driverís license would be suspended for 30 days, and the person would be subject to the term of imprisonment provided under current law in the discretion of the court.

†††† The bill also further provides that a violator who is involved in an accident resulting in serious bodily injury to another person would be fined up to $500; in addition, the violator's driver's license would be suspended for 90 days and he or she would be required to attend a Driver Improvement Program.† For an accident resulting in the death of another person, the violator would be fined up to $1,000, the violator's driver's license would be suspended for six months, and he or she would be required to attend a Driver Improvement Program.

†††† The bill also specifies that the Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission may authorize a person who is required to attend a Driver Improvement Program to attend a program that is substantially similar to the commissionís program.

†††† The existing penalties for first offenses under these statutes would continue to apply.