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New Jersey safety reminders to prevent pedestrian accidents

New Jersey officials do their best to make sure that residents can safely walk on streets without fear of being struck by motorists. Pedestrian accidents can cause serious injuries and death. On April 10, 2010, the state passed Assembly Bill 1329, which outlines the responsibilities and consequences that drivers, as well as pedestrians, face when they do not follow the law.

Drivers are required to stop when a pedestrian is walking in a marked crosswalk. Drivers should remain stationary until the pedestrian has cleared the crosswalk. The same rules apply when a pedestrian is crossing in an adjacent crosswalk and the driver is turning right. Other motorists are prohibited from overtaking a vehicle that is stationary to let a pedestrian pass. If a pedestrian is walking in an unmarked crosswalk or intersection, drivers are required to yield. Also, motorists should exercise caution at all times.

Safety is a two-way street, however, which means that pedestrians also have responsibilities as well. The first responsibility is to remain within the crosswalk or designated walking area and not run into the path of a vehicle, especially when it is virtually impossible for a vehicle to stop or avoid an accident. The second responsibility is to yield to motorists when the "walk" sign is not lit. Third, pedestrians need to use sidewalks or walkways on the outer side of the shoulder or highway if a sidewalk is not provided.

If New Jersey pedestrians have done their part in order to avoid accidents but a driver's negligence results in an accident, a driver can be fined $200. The driver may also receive four license points and be required to serve 15 days of community service, if that person is unable to completely stop for a pedestrian on a crosswalk. A driver can face a personal injury lawsuit as well.

Source: State.nj.us, "Pedestrian Safety," Accessed on Oct. 28, 2014

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