Differences in Driving Laws: South Jersey vs. “The City”

Differences in Driving Laws: South Jersey vs. “The City”Since South Jersey and Pennsylvania are in such close proximity, many drivers find themselves commuting back and forth for work, medical care, classes, and even entertainment options. Even though everyone must undergo tests to receive their driver’s license, it is important to know that traffic laws and rules can vary by state.

Therefore, before you end up in a car accident, you should take the time to learn certain rules and laws that may be different in Philadelphia compared to South Jersey.

The differences in speeding laws

Most people who are driving between South Jersey and Philadelphia will admit that the type of ticket that they would most likely prefer to avoid is a speeding ticket. Speeding citations usually have high fines and possibly even points added to your driver’s license. Therefore, when driving across the Benjamin Franklin Bridge to make your way between both states, you want to ensure that your full attention is on the roadways and that you take immediate notice of speed limit signs. It is advisable to brush up on the default speed limits in certain areas before making these trips. Some of the main differences in speeding laws between South Jersey and the city include:

  • School zones: In Pennsylvania, the speed limit in school zones is always 15 mph, which is much lower than the school zone speed limit of 25 mph in New Jersey.
  • Residential areas: The Keystone State has a default speed limit of 25 mph in residential areas, which is the same as New Jersey’s residential speed limit. However, in some low-density residential or business areas, New Jersey does allow drivers to drive 35 mph.
  • Urban areas: Most areas of South Jersey are considered suburban or rural, which means the speed limit is going to change based on where you are. In the city, though, the default speed is 35 mph.
  • Highways and interstates: On highways and interstates, those crossing into The Keystone State should pay close attention as speed limits on highways varies significantly with limits on I-95 as low as 55 miles per hour (or slower in work zones) up to 70 miles per hour on the Pennsylvania Turnpike depending on what the speed limit signs say. If you do not see any speed limit signs, it is best to proceed with caution and drive 65 mph. In New Jersey, the speed limit on highways and interstates is slightly lower at either 55 mph or 65 mph.
  • Other roadways: If you are driving on other roads that do not fit under these descriptions, the default speed limit is 55 mph in PA and 50 mph in New Jersey.

Remember that these are the default speed limits if you do not see a posted speed limit. If you do see a posted speed limit, you are required to follow it.

Automated speed enforcement and stop light enforcement in Philadelphia

One of the most significant differences is that the city of Philadelphia employs “automated speed enforcement” and “Red Light Cameras” throughout the city.

The red light cameras in Philadelphia have been in place since 2005. In monitored intersections anyone who runs a red light will automatically receive a fine in the mail. New Jersey attempted a pilot program for red light cameras which ultimately ended in 2014 without renewal.

As for speed cameras, originally a pilot program that installed multiple speed enforcement cameras along Roosevelt Boulevard, the state legislature recently passed a bill which will allow the expansion of that program to additional high-traffic roadways including North Broad Street, Cobbs Creek Parkway, Lincoln Drive and Kelly Drive.

While the program is only deployed inside city limits, it is positioned to expand to several municipalities, and so drivers must be prepared to follow the speed limit or face significant fines.

Are South Jersey’s turning and passing laws different?

Generally speaking, the rules are the same when it comes to turning and passing, with only a few exceptions.

This is good news for South Jersey commuters and travelers, because it means that as long as you follow our own rules, you shouldn’t be breaking any others once you cross state lines.

What about distracted driving?

Almost everyone takes their cell phones with them no matter where they are driving. However, it is essential to know and understand the different laws surrounding distracted driving, texting, and using any other types of electronic devices in different states. Neither state lets you text and drive, but only NJ currently requires use of hands-free devices when talking on the phone.

HOWEVER, there’s a bill advancing that would ban handheld cell phone use in Pennsylvania, too, so keep your eyes open.

Why you should care about the differences in driving in South Jersey vs. the city

The primary reason is safety, so that you’re safe on the road and you keep others safe, too. But the more complicated truth is that Jersey’s laws regarding insurance claims and injury lawsuits are very different from Pennsylvania’s, and it can affect your ability to recover the full amount of damage you are owed. This is why you want a Cherry Hill car accident lawyer on your side ASAP if you get hurt commuting into or out of the city.

Everything changes when there’s another state involved in your car crash claim.  The Cherry Hill car accident lawyers of Ferrara & Gable have built a solid reputation for helping clients obtain the best results possible. With the help and guidance of our team, you can ensure that your legal rights are protected and fight for the compensation you need and deserve to rebuild your life again. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule your free initial meeting with one of our attorneys today. Although our firm is based in Cherry Hill, we are known for proudly serving all of South Jersey.

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