Friday, January 22, 2010

Stop For Pedestrians Bill Is Now Law - Will There Be Enough Outreach To Make A Difference?

On Monday Then Acting Governor Steve Sweeney signed Assembly Bill No. 1329 into law which requires motorists to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk.

  1. The new measure requires drivers to stop and remain stopped while a pedestrian is in a marked crosswalk. Previously motorists were required to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks but did not have a clear obligation to stop and remain stopped.
  2. It requires drivers making a right turn at a red or yellow traffic signal or at a stop or yield sign to stop and remain stopped for pedestrians crossing within the adjacent crosswalk into which the motorist is turning.
  3. Lastly it provides that when a collision occurs between a vehicle and a pedestrian within a marked crosswalk, or at an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, there is a permissive inference that the driver did not exercise due care for the safety of the pedestrian.

In many places in the country drivers are trained to stop for pedestrians. Put your foot down in a marked crosswalk and four lanes of traffic will come to a stop to let you cross. With proper outreach and enforcement this law can make a huge difference in pedestrian safety. But it will be a heavy lift, it's hard to break old habits, especially if you are already ten minutes late.


Andrew J. Besold said...

Thanks for covering this John. I was looking to it myself but have been busy with other issues.

cartoongoddess said...

Like California. Finally! Thanks for posting this.

Andrew J. Besold said...

Here's some info about the new law posted on today's New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian News Digest.

Road Warrior: N.J. pedestrian law modeled after New England
The Record • Friday, January 22, 2010

Corzine signs seat belt and crosswalk laws
(read comments, people still confused about law)
Courier-Post • Thursday, January 21, 2010

Senate Transportation Committee Statement to Assembly, No. 1329
(A synopsis of the “Stop and remain stopped” for pedestrians bill now law)
New Jersey Senate Transportation Committee • January 7, 2010

ASSEMBLY, No. 1329 (identical to S2480)
(Actually bill/law language amending R.S.39:4-32, R.S.39:4-36, R.S.39:4-115, and R.S.39:4-3 144, and repealing R.S.39:4-35)
New Jersey State Assembly • January 12, 2010