Can You Get a Ticket for Tailgating?
Google Screened

Can You Get a Ticket for Tailgating?

March 12, 2024
Contact a New Jersey Ticket Lawyer at Ellis Law, P.C. for a Free Consultation

Drivers often tailgate without thinking, not worrying about how dangerous it is; for many, the possibility of getting a ticket does not even enter their mind. However, you can get a ticket for tailgating in New Jersey.

What Is a Safe Driving Distance?

Here are two common ways to gauge a safe driving distance:

  • The three-second rule: Pick a stationary object like a speed limit sign to use this. Once the vehicle in front of you passes it, count the seconds until you do the same. If you pass before three, ease up on the gas.
  • The car length rule: Allow one full car length for every 10 miles per hour you are driving. If you drive 60 miles per hour, stay six car lengths behind.

N.J.S.A. 39:4-89 (New Jersey Statutes Title 39. Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulation 39 § 4-89) stipulates that a vehicle should not follow another closer “than is reasonable or prudent.” It does not have an exact following distance for cars but states that trucks should remain at least 100 feet in the back of another truck in front of them unless they are passing.

What Are the Penalties for Tailgating in New Jersey?

If you are caught and convicted for tailgating in New Jersey, you may be subject to these penalties:

  • A fine ranging from $50 to $200.
  • Five points on your driver’s license. Once you have six points, you will have a yearly surcharge; 12 points equals a license suspension.
  • Car insurance premiums increase.
  • Court costs for challenging tailgating tickets.
  • Jail time in rare instances when a driver’s actions are especially heinous, have a history of serious offenses, or show no remorse in court.

Can I Fight a Tailgating Ticket?

This is no easy matter and often ends up with a defendant’s word against that of the police officer who wrote the citation. The road conditions and your speed will play important roles in the challenge since both can make it harder to stop in time to avoid a crash.

There are exceptions to tailgating laws that might work in your favor, depending on the circumstances. Bear in mind that the laws also have flexibility because the following distances often revolve around the driving conditions; if you were in bumper-to-bumper traffic, maintaining a safe distance may have been impossible. Some drivers cited for tailgating are offered the option of attending traffic school, which helps them minimize or eliminate their penalties.

Contact a New Jersey Ticket Lawyer at Ellis Law, P.C. for a Free Consultation

Tailgating is a serious traffic violation, but a skilled New Jersey ticket lawyer at Ellis Law, P.C. can offer legal advice and represent you in court if necessary. To learn more, call us at 732-702-6103 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Freehold, New Jersey, we serve clients in Asbury Park, East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Long Branch, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, Monmouth County, Marlboro, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn and New York City.

Call Now for a Free Consultation 732-308-0200


Ellis Law Center 87 South Street

Freehold, NJ 07728

Phone: 732-308-0200

Fax: 732-577-0100

Map and Directions

East Brunswick

Turnpike Plaza, 197 Route 18

East Brunswick, NJ 08816

Phone: 732-254-3355

Fax: 732-577-0100

Map and Directions

Toms River

1861 Hooper Avenue

Toms River, NJ 08753

Phone: 732-741-1616

Fax: 732-577-0100

Map and Directions