New Jersey is one of 33 states that has a "complete streets" policy. This policy focuses on pedestrian safety when rebuilding old roads. In addition to planning new roads with pedestrians in mind, a new law created in 2010 requires vehicles to stop for a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk. Previously, drivers were expected to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, but did not have to completely stop until the pedestrian had crossed the road. The law also directs drivers to yield to pedestrians crossing at an intersection even if there is no marked crosswalk.
Slow Down In Our Town
Slow Down In Our Town, sponsored by Middlesex County, is a county-wide campaign that partners neighborhood residents and local law enforcement to warn drivers to slow down. The program addresses behaviors that lead to crashes, especially in school areas and residential neighborhoods with children. It's as easy as putting a sign on the front lawn, and hopefully, drivers will become aware of their speed.
Tips For Pedestrian Safety
- Make sure to always cross at corners or marked crosswalks. Failure to do so could lead to serious injury.
- Never walk under the influence of alcohol or any other drugs; they increase your chances of being hit.
- Always apply the "left, right, left" rule. Make sure you look towards your left first for oncoming traffic, then to your right, and again to your left, before crossing any street.
- Always walk facing oncoming traffic.
Tips for Children
- Never cross between parked vehicles.
- If there is no sidewalk available, walk as far off the roadway as possible on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.
- Wear light-colored or reflective clothing at night.
Tips for Seniors
- Use the "Buddy System." Never walk alone. It is always best to walk in groups of two or more.
- Wear light-colored, reflective clothing when possible, especially at night.
- Obey traffic signs and crosswalks.
New Jersey Statute 39:4-36
The driver of a vehicle must stop and stay stopped for a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk, but shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except at crosswalks when the movement of traffic is being regulated by police officers or traffic control signals, or where otherwise prohibited by municipal, county, or State regulation, and except where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided, but no pedestrian shall suddenly 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.
MOTORISTS in New Jersey MUST stop for pedestrians in a marked crosswalk. Failure to observe the law may subject you to one or more of the following:
- 2 POINTS
- $200 FINE (plus court costs)
- 15 DAYS COMMUNITY SERVICE
- INSURANCE SURCHARGES
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