On March 1, 2022, the New Jersey Safe Passage Law went into effect. Signed by Governor Phill Murphy on August 5, 2021, the amendment to Title 39 provides clear rules for all motorists about when and how to pass others sharing the road whether they are traveling on foot, on bicycles, on scooters, wheelchairs, or in other legally permitted ways to travel other than a motor vehicle.
In 2021, approximately 219 pedestrians were killed by drivers on New Jersey roads, as well as 27 cyclists. The new law requires drivers to use “due caution” whenever they see vulnerable people on the road, and states that:
- Drivers must follow all current no-passing, no speeding laws, and also must move over a lane if there’s one available.
- On a single-lane road, drivers must allow at least a 4-foot safety zone when they pass.
- If it is not possible, illegal, or unsafe to allow for the 4-foot safety zone, drivers must slow to 25 mph and be prepared to stop until they can pass safely without endangering those sharing the road.
The Safe Passage Law includes stiffer penalties of $100 for drivers who violate the law or a $500 fine and two points on their license if they break the law and injure a pedestrian.
If you have been involved in an automobile accident involving possible unsafe passing, contact the experienced attorneys at Cohn Lifland Pearlman Herrmann & Knopf LLP for help.