The Price of a Rolling Stop?

You’re driving down a New Jersey road and you see a stop sign up ahead. You slow down, look both ways and, seeing no one, continue through the intersection. Behind you, lights and sirens. Why?

What you have just done is known as a “rolling stop”—and in New Jersey, it is illegal.

New Jersey law requires drivers to obey traffic signs and controls, including coming to a “full stop” at stop signs and red lights. Failure to do is a technical violation of NJSA 39:4-144.

Consequences of “Rolling Stop” Traffic Violations

Failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign or red light can result in:

  • Two points on your driving record.
  • Fines.
  • Increases in your automobile insurance rates.

It may seem as though a “rolling stop” is essentially a victimless crime. After all, as long as the driver makes it through safely, what harm is done? This argument falls on its face in light of the very real and present danger involved in excusing violations of the traffic laws designed for all.

What’s the Harm in a Rolling Stop?

Imagine, if you will, a four-way intersection. The sun is bright. The driver of Car A slows down as he approaches the intersection, but because the sun is in his eyes and he did not take the time to come to a complete stop, he doesn’t see the vehicle coming towards him. He pulls out into the road to cross, the vehicle coming at him swerves to avoid an accident, and instead, hits a pedestrian.

If we allow people to violate socially-agreed-upon norms for drivers some of the time, we can never hold anyone responsible if they fail to uphold the rules. It is similar in concept to the notion that if you are dealing with people who tell lies, it is very difficult to trust anything they say because you never know how they will behave.

All drivers are expected to follow the rules of the road, for their safety, and the safety of passengers, other vehicles, and pedestrians. If you or someone you care about was the victim of a New Jersey automobile accident, call Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari at 973-845-4421.

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