If NJ makes this law, get ready to change the way you drive (Opinion)
Forty two other states have this traffic law on the books. New Jersey is not one of them, but soon we could be the 43rd state.
Break this law and it could cost you.
The Safe Passing Act was approved by the state Senate earlier in the week and now all it needs is the signature of Gov. Phil Murphy.
The Safe Passing Act would be very similar to the Move Over law that requires motorists to make room for or pullover for police, fire, ambulances, and EMTs on the road.
Drivers would be required by law to move over one lane when passing those on bicycles, scooters, and even pedestrians. If moving over one lane is not safe, motorists will be required to slow down to 25 mph. It would require drivers to move over one lane when passing. You will not be required to move over if bicycle and scooter riders are on a sidewalk. The same goes for pedestrians. The only exception is if there isn't a sidewalk for pedestrians to use, you must move over or slow down.
Failure to comply could cost you. If summonsed you would face a $100 fine. If your vehicle causes an injury, the fine goes up to $500, and two points are added to your license.
As reported by NJ.com. Debra Kagan, Executive Director of the NJ Bike and Walk Coalition testified that New Jersey has had a "boom" in cyclists, those on scooters walkers using the road.
If you think pedestrian injuries and fatalities aren't a problem in New Jersey, think again. New Jersey had the eighth highest number of pedestrian deaths in the country in 2020.
While I hope this law is passed, it's important that pedestrians and those on bicycles and scooters are responsible and safe as well. In order for everyone to stay safe, it requires effort on everyone's part.
That being said, I'm still on the fence on whether this law is for safety, or whether it's another money grab for the state. Time will tell.