Whether you’re driving, walking or cycling, everyone can help make New Jersey’s roads safer. By playing our part, we can work toward New Jersey’s goal of zero pedestrian fatalities. It’s important that everyone know and follow the laws. And there are also common sense safety measures everyone can follow to help reduce fatalities.
LAWS FOR MOTORISTS AROUND PEDESTRIANS
- Drivers must stop and stay stopped to allow people to cross at marked crosswalks and intersections, including when turning. (39:4-36.a (1))
- Whenever any vehicle is stopped for someone crossing the road, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not pass the stopped vehicle. (39:4-36.a (3))
- A person crossing or starting to cross an intersection on a walk or green signal, but who is still within the crosswalk when the signal changes, has the right of way until they finish crossing. (39:4-32.c)
- A driver shall exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway. (39:4-32.g; 39:4-36.a (5))
- In the event of a collision between a vehicle and a person crossing at an intersection, there shall be a permissive inference that the driver did not exercise due care for the safety of the pedestrian. (39:4-32.h; 39:4-36.d)
- It is a primary offense for a motorist to talk or text message with a hand-held wireless telephone or electronic communication device while driving. (39:4-97.3)
- Drivers must move over at least four feet, or if that is not possible slow down and be prepared to stop, when passing a pedestrian, bicycle, low-speed electric bicycle, low-speed electric scooter, or any other vulnerable road user. (39:4-92.4)
Violations of the above laws (with the exception of the last two bullets) carry a $200 fine, two motor vehicle points and up to 15 days of community service. If the violation results in serious bodily injury to a person crossing, drivers can face fines of more than $500, up to 25 days in jail and license suspension of up to six months. The fines for distracted driving violations are $200 to $400 for a first offense, $400 to $600 for a second violation, and $600 to $800 for a third or subsequent violation. The penalties for failing to move over and causing bodily injury are $500 and two motor vehicle points; if no bodily injury results the fine is $100 and there are no points.
LAWS FOR PEDESTRIANS
- No pedestrian shall leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield or stop. (39:4-32.a; 39:4-36.a (2))
- Where traffic is not controlled and directed either by a police officer or a traffic control signal, people should cross in a marked crosswalk, or, in the absence of a marked crosswalk, and where not otherwise prohibited, at right angles to the roadway. (39:4-34)
- No person shall cross a roadway against the stop or red signal at a crosswalk whether marked or unmarked, unless otherwise specifically directed by a police officer or traffic control device. (39:4-32.a)
- Every person upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles. (39:4-36.a (4))
Violation of the above laws carries a $54 fine.