By ANDREW J. LUCA
Today’s article is brought to you by the letter “L” for LOOK carefully when you cross the street while vacationing with your family at the Jersey Shore.
Strolling Around Town:
Pedestrians, following New Jersey’s updated law passed in April 2010, enjoy increased safety and motorist awareness while crossing our streets whether heading to coffee houses or patronizing local shops for must-have souvenirs.
However, walkers must remember they too must heed those same traffic laws that are designed to keep them safe. If ignored, they themselves can be subject to punishment for stepping onto and proceeding into a roadway where there is a flow of oncoming traffic or one that is regulated by police or traffic control signals.
While vehicles must stop for pedestrians crossing at marked crosswalks, pedestrians must still use “common sense” and exercise due caution while arriving at and using a crosswalk.
Walkers must wait for oncoming traffic to see them, slow down and then stop. Otherwise, each offending pedestrian can be fined up to $54 for not doing so. (N.J.S.A. 39:4-32, 33).
A few good rules you already know and have taught your kids:
- Cross at street corners within marked crosswalks whenever possible
- If crossing in other locations, yield the right-of-way to vehicles
- Always look left, right and left again when crossing
- Lastly, and for the safety of your loved ones, don’t assume an approaching vehicle sees you. When you get to the corner, step into the marked crosswalk and stop. Take a moment to allow motorists to apply their brakes and stop for you and your family, which allows your vacation and its fun memories to continue.
Motoring About Town:
A motorist in New Jersey must stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk. Failure to do so carries a $200 fine, a two-point license penalty (i.e. insurance surcharges and rate increases), and 15 days of community service. (N.J.S.A. 39:4-36).
Understandably, increased penalties apply where serious bodily injury to a pedestrian is caused by a motorist. Of no less importance, drivers are specifically prohibited from passing an automobile that is stopped at a crosswalk for pedestrians.
Pedaling Through Town:
Bicyclists are not immune from the laws of the road while they enjoy the unfettered ocean breezes during their morning ride. Bike operators are reminded that in New Jersey, they must follow the same rules that are imposed upon motor vehicles. Accordingly, cars are not required to stop for bicyclists waiting in a cross-walk.
So, enjoy the same benefit that pedestrians enjoy and dismount your bike at the corner and wait patiently. Take a moment for oncoming drivers to notice you and stop. You will be back on your ride sooner than if you stayed atop your bike and tried to cross – and be much safer for doing so.
If you are a visitor to our warm beaches and our warmer hospitality at the Jersey Shore, please be safe while traveling in our towns. We want you to come back!
About the Author: Andrew J. Luca is a co-founding member of the CKL Law Group, LLP and has been practicing Real Estate and Consumer Fraud law in New Jersey for nearly 20 years.