In an effort to keep roadways safe, the New Jersey Senate approved legislation sponsored by Senators Anthony Bucco and Steven Oroho that would impose certain safety requirements on motorists when overtaking pedestrians and bicyclists.
“New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation, and as a result, pedestrians face a greater risk of injury or death on our roads,” said Senator Bucco (R-25). “We all know that pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists need to exercise caution when sharing our roadways, but more needs to be done to prevent fatalities. This legislation will provide additional protections for all New Jerseyans by requiring drivers to be more aware of their surroundings and to be more mindful of the responsibility they have behind the wheel.”
The bill package, S-2208/S-1460/S-1463, would require motorists to take certain safety precautions when they are overtaking or passing pedestrians, bicyclists, or electric scooters on New Jersey roadways. If a lane change is not possible, individuals operating a motor vehicle would be required to allow at least four feet of clearance while approaching a pedestrian, bicycle, or scooter.
“Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) issues a report on motor vehicle crashes, and each year it highlights thousands of pedestrian fatalities—most of which are preventable,” said Senator Oroho (R-24). “This bipartisan legislation introduces several new requirements for drivers, such as increasing the distance between a vehicle and a pedestrian during an overtake, that are critical to preventing pedestrian injuries and deaths. Together, we can make our roads safer for all New Jerseyans so that people can go walking, running, and cycling without being worried about becoming another statistic.”
Many pedestrian and bike safety organizations have endorsed the proposal including the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition.
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