Drivers in New Jersey are required under the law to stop for a pedestrian who is in a crosswalk. Failure to do so can place the motorist at risk for fines and other penalties. However, many motorists continue to flout the law, and recently a campaign used an unusual tool to crack down on motorists for failure to yield to pedestrians.
Town Uses Donald Duck to Catch Motorists Failing to Stop at Pedestrian Crossing
The program was part of a pedestrian safety campaign in Fort Lee, and involved the use of a Donald Duck character walking in the crosswalk. The initiative kicked off on Halloween Day – when drivers should expect to see costumed pedestrians – and law enforcement officers wanted to catch drivers who failed to stop for the hard-to-miss Donald Duck walking in the crosswalk.
Officers found that as many as 40 motorists failed to stop for Donald Duck crossing the street. Officers noted a number of inappropriate behaviors by motorists, including driving through the crosswalk when the duck was in the crosswalk and one driver laid on the horn to get the duck to move. Such behavior simply increases the risk of a pedestrian accident.
Pedestrian accidents are often caused by motorist negligence, and failure to stop and yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk is one of the primary forms of motorist negligence that can cause pedestrian accidents around New Jersey.
New Jersey Pedestrian Laws
Under New Jersey law, motorists must not only stop when they see a pedestrian crossing at a crosswalk, but must stay stopped until the pedestrian finishes crossing. The only exception is crosswalks regulated by police officers or traffic control signals. If a motorist has stopped his car at a crosswalk, another car approaching from the rear must also stop, and must not pass or overtake the stopped vehicle.
Those laws are in place to help protect New Jersey’s pedestrians who are at serious risk of catastrophic injuries, or even death if they are struck by a car. In New Jersey, the Department of Transportation has a very clear pedestrian safety message: Pedestrian Safety Is a Shared Responsibility.
If You’re in a Pedestrian Accident, Get Legal Help
If you suffer injuries in a pedestrian accident that a driver caused, you are likely eligible for compensation from the negligent motorist that includes medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and disability. Call 215-642-2335 to speak to a pedestrian accident attorney at our firm and discuss how you can begin filing a claim for damages. You can also fill out our online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.