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Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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New Jersey's tickets at a high thanks to new laws

If you drive in New Jersey, you may have noticed more people pulled over than usual in the last year or so. There's a good reason for that. Changes to some of New Jersey's laws have resulted in more people being ticketed than in the past.

The number of traffic tickets given out in New Jersey is growing, all thanks to a new law that requires you to keep your windshield and license plate visible and unobstructed. Do you like to hang fuzzy dice on your rear-view mirror? Don't, you'll end up with a ticket. Do you have a foggy cover on your license plate? Be prepared to get stopped.

In 2015, 15,000 people were given tickets for violations. In 2017, that number rose to 111,000. That adds up to around $21.5 million in fines in 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined.

State laws prohibit you from having any kind of sticker, poster, sign or item that isn't transparent on your front windshield. You can use state-issued decals, like inspection stickers, only.

If you have a license plate holder or frame, don't get too cute with it. You can't conceal any part of the plate. If you do you face serious trouble. No, obstructing the plate doesn't just include the large letters and numbers. If you obstruct the words on the plate including "The Garden State" or "New Jersey," you can still be fined, even though the plate number itself is easily visible.

These laws could be taken too far. It's important that drivers and the police are both fair and understanding, but if you face penalties for something as simple as partially obstructing "New Jersey" on your license plate, you may want to fight the violation.

Source: Asbury Park Press, "N.J. traffic tickets: Windshield, license plate tickets on the rise," Mike Davis, Dec. 15, 2017

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