Thomas Carroll Blauvelt

The cost of speeding in a highway construction or repair zone

Sometimes it feels like you encounter a highway work zone only when you can’t afford to be slowed down. These areas often require those in two or three lanes to merge into one or for traffic in two directions to take turns going through one lane. There may be signs and/or workers directing you into a detour route.

Any work zone (referred to as “area of highway construction or repair” under New Jersey law) requires reduced speed. The law states that the fine for speeding in these areas is double what it would normally be in that area. That’s in addition to any other fines a driver may have to pay for driving recklessly or causing damage in a work area.

The risks of unsafe driving in these areas

Under New Jersey law, a highway construction or repair area “shall consist of that area between the first traffic control device or sign informing motor vehicle operators of their approaching highway construction or repair and the last traffic control device or sign indicating all restrictions are removed and normal motor vehicle operations may resume.” 

Not obeying cautionary signs in these areas can place workers in serious danger of injuries. Many have been killed by drivers who didn’t slow down or went into a lane they shouldn’t have. People in vehicles are at greater risk of injury in these zones as well. Even the usable lanes may have debris in them that can cause a vehicle to go out of control if the driver isn’t cautious. 

Should you contest the citation?

You have the right to contest this citation if you believe you were cited wrongfully. For example, maybe the area wasn’t clearly marked with a specific modified speed limit. Maybe you were given instructions by a worker directing traffic in the area that were contrary to the signage.

Any number of things would make it possible to successfully challenge the ticket. Before the deadline for payment draws near, it may be wise to get legal guidance to determine what your best course of action is based on the circumstances.

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