New Jersey lawmakers vote to toughen motorists' brake light law

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 11/22/2013

A New Jersey bill addresses a generation of truckers and other drivers traveling America’s roads that are accustomed to seeing three brake lights illuminate when a passenger vehicle ahead is slowing down.

New Jersey law requires that passenger vehicles have two working brake lights. However, since the fall of 1985 affected vehicles must also be equipped with a high-mounted rear stoplight.

The Senate voted unanimously this week to send a bill to Gov. Chris Christie that would change the rule on working brake lights. A354 would punish motorists if any one of the brake lights doesn’t work. Assembly lawmakers already approved the bill by unanimous consent.

If signed into law, $47 fines would be authorized for a non-working light.

Sen. Nicholas Sacco, D-Hudson, recently said the change is necessary because drivers are used to watching for the third brake light while driving, and a blown bulb could reduce someone’s reaction time.

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