New Jersey’s Safe Passing Law has officially gone into effect. The law is directed at drivers passing people on bikes, scooters, and skateboards or pedestrians on the side of the road, and establishes procedural changes in the way these drivers should safely pass others on the road.
Proponents of the Safe Passing Law say that the law’s necessity is evident based on the jump in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities from 2020 to 2021. Governor Phil Murphy signed the law in August 2021, a move made with the intention of allowing New Jersey to catch up to 42 other states that have similar rules in place, such as New York. The hope is to reduce the number of collisions between cars and other road users, especially as vehicle traffic returns to pre-pandemic levels.
What Does New Jersey’s Safe Passing Law Say?
The law requires drivers to move over one lane when passing, if safe, or alternatively create four feet of space between the car and the person being passed. If these options are not safe or feasible to do, the law requires drivers to slow down to 25 mph and pass slowly. It takes inspiration from New Jersey’s Move Over Law, which requires drivers to either move over one lane, if safe, or slow down when approaching vehicles stopped on highway shoulders.
The Safe Passing law also protects pedestrians using rural and suburban roads that have no sidewalks and individuals with mobility issues using electric scooters.
Violation of the Safe Passing Law results in a $100 fine. No motor vehicle points are given for violating the law. However, a driver who causes bodily injury as a result of violation of the law could face a $500 fine and two points on their license. Moreover, depending on the extent of the injuries incurred, drivers who find themselves in the latter situation may have to pay compensatory damages or even face a lawsuit.
What to Do if an Accident Results in Injury
If you or someone you love has been injured by a driver disobeying New Jersey’s new Safe Passing Law, call the police and seek medical attention. It’s important to get checked out even if you or others involved feel fine, as shock can mask pain and injuries may not be apparent at first. Getting medical attention will also allow you to obtain documentation that will serve as evidence should you have to deal with insurance or file a lawsuit.
It is also vital that you call the police so an officer can prepare an accident report. The report will likely be necessary for insurance purposes and can help your case if you go to court.
In addition to obtaining a police report, try to retrieve the contact information of everyone involved, as well as evidence of the accident scene. Evidence may include pictures and videos of your vehicle, other vehicles involved, and the surrounding area. If you can, record notes. Details can fade as time passes.
If you have been involved in an accident that has resulted in injury, it is also important that you speak with an experienced attorney. Having a legal professional look over the facts of the case can help you navigate the consequences of the accident and benefit you in the long run. At Rosenblum Law, our attorneys will analyze your situation and work to get you the best outcome possible. Call 888-815-3649 for a free, no-obligation consultation today.