Cyclists, scooter riders, pedestrians and people in wheelchairs are vulnerable to serious injuries or death when struck by motor vehicles on New Jersey roads. Legislation enacted on March 1, 2022, aims to make these vulnerable populations safer.
What does the new legislation do?
New Jersey Safe Passing Law
Unsafe passing practices by motorists put vulnerable road users at risk. The NJ Safe Passing Law reinforces the right to the road of car-free road users. The law requires New Jersey drivers to use due caution when passing these road users. Drivers must obey posted no passing and no speeding laws and change lanes if there is an available lane to change to.
When traveling on single-lane roads, drivers must leave at least four feet of space between their vehicles and car-free road users. If the road is too narrow to allow four feet of space, drivers must reduce their speed to 25 miles per hour and prepare to stop if they can not pass safely. Drivers who violate this law face a $500 fine and two points on their licenses if they cause bodily harm. If they pass someone unsafely without causing an injury, the fine is $100.
Other passing laws
The new legislation complements, rather than replaces existing passing laws. Drivers must still follow the previous laws, such as the Slow Down, Move Over Law that requires motorists to slow down or switch lanes when approaching emergency vehicles.
Passing laws help prevent serious injuries and deaths involving motorists passing pedestrians, cyclists and other people traveling on roadways without a vehicle. Motorists who violate these laws may be liable for any injuries or deaths they cause.