N.J. law now requires drivers stop for pedestrians in crosswalks | State | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.

newjerseynewsroom.com

Saturday
Dec 27th
  • Login
  • Create an account
    Registration
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    REGISTER_REQUIRED
  • Search
  • Local Business Deals

N.J. law now requires drivers stop for pedestrians in crosswalks

crosswalk033110_opt28 walkers killed this year

A new New Jersey state law goes into effect Thursday that mandates that motorists must stop — and remain stopped — for pedestrians in the crosswalk.

In the past, motorists were required only to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.

State Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Division of Highway Traffic Safety Director Pam Fischer are traveling the state Thursday to remind New Jerseyans of the change.

"For years, too many pedestrians have been dying in traffic accidents in New Jersey," Dow said. "With these changes to our law, motorists and pedestrians will no longer have to play a game of chicken when it comes to maneuvering on our roadways. The law brings new clarity that drivers must stop and remain stopped for pedestrians at intersections and crosswalks, and pedestrians, in turn, must use due care and not jaywalk or step into traffic outside of those crossing points."

Motorists who violate the law face a $200 fine, plus court costs, and 2 points on their license. They can also be subject to 15 days of community service and insurance surcharges.

Pedestrians may also be cited under state law for failing to use due care when crossing. The law requires them to obey pedestrian signals and use crosswalks at signalized intersections as well as yield the right of way to traffic if they are not crossing within a crosswalk or at an intersection. Failure to comply with the law carries a $54 fine, plus court costs.

Fischer noted that since 2004, approximately 150 pedestrians have been killed annually in traffic-related accidents in New Jersey. Last year, after a three-year downward trend, the number of pedestrian deaths statewide increased to 157.

As of Friday, 28 pedestrians have been killed as compared to 48 for the same time period last year. Additionally, since 2004, more than 30,000 pedestrians have been injured in motor-vehicle related crashes statewide.

To educate people about the new law, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety has developed an oversized palm card, similar in size to a traffic ticket, that outlines the changes as well as the penalties for failing to comply. The card will be distributed to all police departments in the state, and made available to high school driver education teachers and defensive driving program providers. The new law will also be detailed in the New Jersey Driver Manual.

Fischer said her agency will be working with police to educate both motorists and pedestrians about the change in the law.

"We're asking law enforcement officials, when interacting with motorists and pedestrians, to educate them about the change to the law, as well their respective duties and responsibilities when walking or driving," Fischer said. "Our goal is to reinforce the importance of pedestrians always using crosswalks, their safety zone, and for motorists to recognize that when approaching crosswalks they must be alert for pedestrians and stop and stay stopped to allow them to cross safely.''

"This new law complements our ongoing effort to enhance pedestrian safety on New Jersey's busy roadways," said state Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson. "Since 2006, NJDOT has completed or funded 205 pedestrian safety initiatives, and just a few months ago we adopted a Complete Streets policy that promotes safe accessibility for all who share our roads."

Fischer offers these safe walking tips for pedestrians:

  • Wear bright-colored, reflectorized clothing, especially at night.
  • Walk on sidewalks or paths and always cross at the corner, within marked crosswalks if provided. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic and make eye contact with motorists.
  • Never cross mid-block, between parked cars or by climbing over median barriers. This is against the law.
  • Look left, then right and left again before crossing, and always be on the look-out for turning vehicles.
  • Continue to look for vehicles while crossing, even when in marked crosswalks.
  • Learn the proper use of "walk/don't walk" signals and obey them.
  • Walk and cross with others, when possible.
  • Do not attempt to cross while talking or texting on a cell phone. Pedestrian inattention is a common cause of pedestrian-motor vehicle conflicts.
  • Try not to walk at night or in bad weather, such as rain, snow or ice.

 
Comments (14)
14 Sunday, 29 December 2013 00:44
Steve Chipkin
Why is it so hard for drivers to understand that they must stop when a pedestrian is off the curb and on the crosswalk? Perhaps its difficult to see a pedestrian after dark; however, there is no excuse for not stopping your car during the day. In Nutley, drivers speed thru crosswalks constantly during the day, with pedestrians standing there (often with their kids) and waiting to cross. My wife got the middle finger gesture recently when she was in the crosswalk attempting to walk, after she had the nerve to yell at the driver when he plowed thru. Attribute this to stupidity and arrogance of many NJ drivers. They need to be 'educated' by being ticketed.
13 Sunday, 29 December 2013 00:44
Steve Chipkin
Why is it so hard for drivers to understand that they must stop when a pedestrian is off the curb and on the crosswalk? Perhaps its difficult to see a pedestrian after dark; however, there is no excuse for not stopping your car during the day. In Nutley, drivers speed thru crosswalks constantly during the day, with pedestrians standing there (often with their kids) and waiting to cross. My wife got the middle finger gesture recently when she was in the crosswalk attempting to walk, after she had the nerve to yell at the driver when he plowed thru. Attribute this to stupidity and arrogance of many NJ drivers. They need to be 'educated' by being ticketed.
12 Friday, 05 April 2013 13:16
Chris Madden
I just received a ticket for failure to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. This was a sting operation by the Ft Lee police in which they had channel 12 cameras all over the place to film this scam. The problem is where they set this up. I've been traveling this road for many years and probably passed this particular spot literally hundreds of times. I have never,ever seen anyone cross this road at this location in my life. My eyes were more to the left and he approached from the right so by the time I saw him I realized I had been set up and it was too late. They had the cars they caught lined up in an adjacent park so they wouldn't hinder traffic. Ain't that nice. I think the law in general is a good law but c'mon we don't have 360 degree eyesight.
11 Sunday, 22 April 2012 11:20
jeannie
Either way you put it,two many people are being hit while crossing the road! and if you haven't noticed it's all over,, people are being hit in numbers,a few people at a time...just a few months ago an elderly woman was crossing Anderson Avenue in route to the A&P .....That was just Horrible....I wonder what happened to the man who was driveing the DPW truck??? Unfortunately the elderly woman passed away......i never heard anything more about that day ....like it was sweptd under the rug......
10 Tuesday, 23 November 2010 13:59
Sungki Hong
^_^
9 Monday, 11 October 2010 07:53
Jim Monahan
Great another way for police to supply their pension fund. Don't we pay enough taxes? A case in Highland Park, NJ where a decoy police officer fakes crossing a street and pulls over motorists for breaking this law. That motorist has five other cars in front of him that were also pulled over. Mr. Commissioner, why don't you make a sensible law that all pedistrians wear reflective clothing at night. By the way, noticed a marked police car in Old Bridge, NJ that has a spoiler on it. Isn't this so great. I guess if we all moved, there would be no need for police officers or politicians.
8 Wednesday, 29 September 2010 00:09
PoshHippie
In my town a lot of folks cross in the crosswalk even when they are stopped by a red "don't cross" light. This new law obviously does not encourage you to cross if the light is red. I have never seen a cop give anybody a ticket in my town for anything less than first degree murder. It might make the cop "unpopular" and he could lose his pension, etc, etc. This new law will not affect anybody in my town. Ain't Jersey great? Yes I will leave asap, don't worry.
7 Tuesday, 22 June 2010 15:30
Stephen Puibello
I like the new law, two of my family members are seniors and the time alloted to cross isn't long enough as to many times they are still in the roadway.

http://www.thebackbaynagletters.blogspot.com/
6 Tuesday, 08 June 2010 13:25
Greg Shively
In Atlantic City, pedestrians seem to think that they can cross the street wherever and whenever they want. They consider this their right and feel emboldened by this law. Somehow, they've missed the part about Jaywalking and obeying crossing signals. I've actually witnessed pedestrians coming to a crosswalk and not looking at all or caring whether the light was green in their direction - they simply just walked into the crosswalk - to the noise of screeching brakes ! As for police enforcement - I've never even seen anyone warned about Jaywalking....... and I've watched Police Cars drive right by Bicycles traveling on the road AGAINST the traffic! - another traffic Hazard that is against the Law but rarely enforced.
5 Tuesday, 01 June 2010 16:58
rosebud
unfortunately pedestrians fail to understand that they must STILL obey traffic signals -- they think they can just walk into the road AGAINST the red signal and demand that turning vehicles stop for them -- causing traffic to back up in the intersection -- there needs to be PEDESTRIAN education as well!
4 Sunday, 25 April 2010 21:13
Visitor
Motorist>>>$200. Fine+ Court cost + 2-Points on your License + Possible
Community Service+ Insurance Surcharges

"Versus"

The "JayWalker"{Pedestrian}>>$54.+ Court cost????

What's Wrong with that picture???

"Way To Go" Commissioner Simpson
3 Wednesday, 21 April 2010 13:59
jonas
When are they going to make a law against police for being dumb?
2 Thursday, 15 April 2010 08:10
Richie
Another excuse to extort money from overtaxed NJ citizens. Time to tar and feather the legislators who believe every law they pass that allows a fine is the greatest thing since bread. How many of the 150 prdestrians killed were killed in crosswalks? I bet most were killed trying to cross illegally or while walking in the street along the side of roads.
1 Thursday, 01 April 2010 10:25
Johnny Ringoes
More un-needed legislation, foolish un-enforceble laws, and over stretch of gov mandates to substitute for common sense. Seat belt lawa, cell phone laws, taligating, keep right, use of signals..blah, blah, blah. The police don't enforce the laws we already have..so lets throw some more out there (which by the way already existed).

Gee, and thanks for telling us to look both ways first. Should we start with the left foot or right? gee, can you help me with that government? I'm a moron, I can't think for myself..

Add your comment

Your name:
Subject:
Comment:

Follow/join us

Twitter: njnewsroom Linked In Group: 2483509