Pedestrian laws affect everyone in the state of New Jersey. As such, familiarizing yourself with those laws—whether you’re biking, driving, or walking—is vital to your safety as well as the security of others.
Stopping for Pedestrians Within Crosswalks
Pedestrians have the right-of-way when crossing the street within a marked crosswalk. The penalty for failing to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk is as follows.
- A fine of $200
- 15 days of community service
- Four points on his or her driving record
Required Use of a Crosswalk
While pedestrians always have the right of way in a crosswalk when the walk sign signals ‘go’ or ‘walk,” pedestrians do not retain those same rights when outside of a crosswalk. What’s more, the law specifies that pedestrians must use designated crossing areas at the intersection and that they must adhere to crossing signals. The rule for crossing an unmarked crosswalk in New Jersey, if caught, is a $54 fine.
Yield the Right of Way to Vehicles
Pedestrians have an obligation to yield the right-of-way to vehicles when crossing in an area other than at a designated crossing area (crosswalk). They also must yield when crossing at a crosswalk when the traffic signal does not indicate that it is time to walk.
Walking on Sidewalks and Facing Traffic
New Jersey law also states that pedestrians are obligated to walk on a sidewalk whenever a path is available to avoid pedestrian accidents. If no sidewalk is present, pedestrians may walk on a road, but only in the direction of (facing) traffic. Furthermore, pedestrians are not allowed to leave a “curb or another place of safety” when another vehicle is so close that stopping is impossible. Finally, pedestrians must exercise due care. Due care can be interpreted to mean some things, and may include walking distraction-free, sober, or/and aware.
Who’s liable for a pedestrian accident in New Jersey?
If a pedestrian accident does occur, liability will be dependent upon any acts of negligence or legal violations. If the crash occurred because a driver failed to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, for example, the driver would likely be held liable. On the other hand, if the accident occurred because the pedestrian was intoxicated and exited the curb, entering a vehicle’s path, then the pedestrian may be held liable.