Bill requiring motorists to take precautions when passing pedestrians, bicyclists, and scooters clears senate

| 18 Jul 2021 | 07:30

Pedestrian safety. The New Jersey Senate approved legislation sponsored by Senators Anthony Bucco and Steven Oroho that would impose certain safety requirements on motorists when overtaking pedestrians and bicyclists.

The bill package would require motorists to take certain safety precautions when they are overtaking or passing pedestrians, bicyclists, or electric scooters on New Jersey roadways. If a lane change is not possible, individuals operating a motor vehicle would be required to allow at least four feet of clearance while approaching a pedestrian, bicycle, or scooter.

The sponsors say the legislation will require drivers to be more aware of their surroundings and to be more mindful of the responsibility they have behind the wheel.

“This bipartisan legislation introduces several new requirements for drivers, such as increasing the distance between a vehicle and a pedestrian during an overtake, that are critical to preventing pedestrian injuries and deaths,” said Oroho (R-24). “Together, we can make our roads safer for all New Jerseyans so that people can go walking, running, and cycling without being worried about becoming another statistic.”

Many pedestrian and bike safety organizations have endorsed the proposal, including the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition.