If you have spent any time driving in New Jersey, you would swear the yellow light means speed up, but do you know what the actual law is?

Photo by Tsvetoslav Hristov on Unsplash
Photo by Tsvetoslav Hristov on Unsplash
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How many times have you been driving in the Garden State and you have seen cars floor it because the light just turned yellow?

Maybe you've even done it yourself once or twice. We are so used to trying to bead the red, that many of us probably don't even know what the law states about the yellow light here in New Jersey.

After all, we live in a state where most motorists treat a yield sign like it's a suggestion and a stop sign like it's a yield sign.

Photo by David Guenther on Unsplash
Photo by David Guenther on Unsplash
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So, if you think the bottom line is that you just have to beat the red to be in the clear, you may want to take a look at what the actual law about the yellow light is in New Jersey.

First of all, according to Justia, the amber light means that you have to stop at the upcoming intersection, and the only time you can proceed through it is if you are so close to the intersection that you can't stop safely.

If you think that last part muddies the water a bit, you might be right. That's why the law is specific about the safe stopping distance.

https://unsplash.com/@rise13law?utm_content=creditCopyText&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash
https://unsplash.com/@rise13law?utm_content=creditCopyText&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash
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It says that a safe distance is 50 feet if you are traveling 20 mph. That's kind of funny since most New Jersey drivers know that in the history of the state, no car whose driver has seen a yellow, or amber, light has ever been doing 20 mph.

But now you know what the law books say. Happy and safe driving.

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