Assemblywoman L. GRACE SPENCER
District 29 (Essex)
Requires drivers to move over or slow down when approaching a bicyclist or pedestrian.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning bicyclist and pedestrian safety and supplementing chapter 4 of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a bicyclist or pedestrian shall approach the bicyclist or pedestrian with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a law enforcement officer, proceed as follows:
(1) Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the bicyclist or pedestrian if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or
(2) If a lane change pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection a. of this section would be impossible, prohibited by law or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.
b. For the purposes of this section, “pedestrian” shall include but not be limited to, pedestrians as defined in R.S.39:1-1, persons in wheelchairs or motorized wheelchairs as defined in R.S.39:1-1, persons employed by or who contract with any public utility company in this State, property maintenance workers, or any other persons who are legally permitted to be upon the roadway for work or recreation.
c. A violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500.
2. This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month following enactment.
This bill would require drivers to move over or slow down when approaching a bicyclist or pedestrian in the road. Under the bill, a motor vehicle operator approaching a bicyclist or pedestrian would be required to approach with due caution and:
· If possible, change into a lane not adjacent to the bicyclist or pedestrian; or
· Slow to a reasonable speed, less than the speed limit, and be prepared to stop.
For its purposes, the bill defines the word “pedestrian” to include persons in wheelchairs, utility and property maintenance workers, and any other persons legally permitted to be upon the roadway for work or recreation, in addition to more common definition used in motor vehicle law of “a person afoot.”
The bill specifies that violations would be punishable with a fine of a fine between $100 and $500.