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Safety law still a mystery to drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2022 | Injuries

New Jersey recently enacted a law to try and ensure drivers provided sufficient room for safely sharing the road. However, many residents are completely unaware of the new law and what it entails. While the dangers persist, those who were hurt and loved ones left behind must know their options.

Education program hopes to inform residents of new law

The Safe Passing Law came into effect in March. However, lawmakers are concerned that too few residents know about it and therefore do not adhere to it. With the new law, drivers must give 4 feet of room to bicyclists and pedestrians when they are sharing the road. Some areas in the Garden State do not have sidewalks and it is especially important that drivers follow this law in those circumstances.

Drivers are required to follow the speed limit and refrain from passing. They must also switch lanes if possible. When they cannot switch lanes, they must reduce their speed to 25 mph and cannot pass until it is deemed safe. Drivers receive fines and points for violations. The state is trying to improve its outreach to educate people about the measures. So too is the Bike and Walk Coalition.

The concerns about safety for riders and pedestrians are well-founded based on statistics. In 2021, there were 218 pedestrian fatalities – a rise of 39 from the previous year. Twenty-seven bicyclists lost their lives. In 2020, there were nine bicyclist fatalities. Still, the new law is not getting the attention necessary for full compliance and understanding. This has led to the campaigns to educate people so the new law can work as intended and avoid crashes.

Accidents with pedestrians and bicyclists warrant legal assistance

The impetus of the Safe Passing Law is to protect pedestrians and bicyclists. Although much is being said about a lack of knowledge of the law contributing to the pedestrian and bicyclist crashes continuing to happen, even if the new law is followed to the letter, they will always have an inherent vulnerability to catastrophic injuries and death in an auto accident. The medical costs, long-term damage, lost income, emotional challenges and other problems inevitably arise. A full investigation is needed and calling experienced professionals can help with forging a plan to pursue a claim.

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