On April 1, 2010, New Jersey new crosswalk law went into effect. The law was changed to address the fact that New Jersey has had a disproportionate number of pedestrian injury crashes and fatalities as compared to most states in the U.S.
The biggest change in the law is that now motorists in New Jersey MUST stop for pedestrians in a marked crosswalk. Prior to April 1, drivers only had to yield to pedestrians.
Failure to observe the law may subject you to one or more of the following:
- 2 Points on your license
- $200 Fines (plus court costs)
- 15 Days Community Service
- Insurance Surcharges
A driver of a vehicle must stop and stay stopped for a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk.
Drivers shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.
There is an exception for crosswalks, where there are police officers or traffic control signals regulating the movement of traffic and a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided.
The statute also states that "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 stop or yield. Nothing contained herein shall relieve a pedestrian from using due care for his safety."
This means you can't jump out in front of a car and expect them to stop. The most important pedestrian safety message for New Jersey residents remains: Pedestrian Safety is a Shared Responsibility
The state's website notes that there is no one cause of crashes involving pedestrians. Pedestrians and motorists must both do their part to keep pedestrians safe.
- Always cross at corners, within marked crosswalks where available.
- If crossing in other locations, yield the right of way to vehicles. Failure to obey the law carries a $54 fine, plus court costs.
- Look left, right and left again before crossing. Watch for turning cars.
- Always walk facing traffic.
- Obey traffic signals, especially "Walk/Don't Walk."
- Remain alert! Don't assume that cars are going to stop.
- Wear reflective clothing when walking at night.
- Stay sober. Walking while impaired greatly increases your chances of being struck.
Stop for pedestrians in marked crosswalks. Failure to stop carries a $200 (court costs additional) fine, a 2-point license penalty, 15 days community service, and insurance surcharges.
- Watch for pedestrians when turning right on red.
- Obey speed limits.
- Do not block or park in crosswalks.
- Keep your windshield clean for maximum visibility.
- Be alert for pedestrian at all times.