A1329/S2480 a pedestrian safety bill has passed the Assembly (76-0) and has been referred to the Senate Transportation Committee.
Under the bill, motorists would be required to stop and remain stopped at a crosswalk while pedestrians pass through the driver’s lane of traffic, even if a light changes to give the motorist the right of way.
A1329's Primary Sponsor - Assemblywoman Linda Stender has been a champion of pedestrian safety over the years. “The number of pedestrian deaths in our state has been increasing instead of decreasing despite our best efforts in recent years,” said Stender (D-Union), vice chairwoman of the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee. “This measure will clearly give pedestrians the right of way so that school children and people on foot can safely walk to their destinations.”
The legislation (A-1329) – a result of the transportation panel’s 2006 hearings on New Jersey pedestrian safety – would provide pedestrians with a clear right to safely navigate New Jersey’s roadways.
A press release on May 21 from the NJ State Police bears Stender's concerns out, with 71 pedestrian deaths so far in 2009-34% of all traffic deaths. NJ has become a pedestrian death leader with a rate that is 3 times the national average (11% in 2007).