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Lower Township Police Department
Tuesday March 1st, 2022 :: 09:42 a.m. EST

Advisory

New Jersey's New Safe Passing Law Takes Effect Today, Title 39:4-92.4

Lower Township, NJ  - 2021 saw an unprecedented increase in crash fatalities, while the first two months of 2022 have shown an even higher trend.

After nearly unanimous, bipartisan support in the legislature, the governor signed the NJ Safe Passing Law (NJSPL) in August 2021. The new law is intended to protect pedestrians, pedacyclists, and scooters. New Jersey joins Pennsylvania as the only two states with this type of law.

N.J.S.A. 39:4-92.4-a defines that a "Pedestrian" shall include, but not be limited to, a person afoot, a person in a wheelchair or motorized wheelchair, a person employed by or who contracts with any public utility company, a property maintenance worker, or any other person who is permitted by law to be upon the roadway for work or recreation.

The new law (N.J.S.A. 39:4-92.4-b) requires motorists to do the following:

• The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a pedestrian, bicycle, low-speed electric bicycle, low-speed electric scooter, or any other lawful personal conveyance located or operating in an area designated for pedestrians or those conveyances, as appropriate, on the roadways of this State shall approach with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a law enforcement officer, proceed as follows:

• When possible under existing safety and traffic conditions, make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the pedestrian or personal conveyance;

• if a lane change cannot be made, leave a reasonable and safe distance of not less than four feet while approaching the pedestrian or personal conveyance and maintain a distance of at least four feet until the motor vehicle has safely passed the conveyance; or

• If it is not possible, prohibited by law, or unsafe to make a lane change or to leave a reasonable and safe distance of not less than four feet, the motor vehicle operator shall reduce its speed to 25 miles per hour or a lower posted speed and be prepared to stop; the operator may pass the pedestrian or personal conveyance only if, considering the size and speed of the motor vehicle, traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and the surface and width of the roadway, passing does not endanger the safety of a pedestrian, operator of the personal conveyance, or any other person on the roadway.

We must not repeat the 2021 crash statistics and address the safety of all road users. Too many pedestrians and cyclists are killed or seriously injured on our state's roadways.

Anyone outside a car or truck, including police officers, first-responders, construction crews, and those sharing the road to take a walk, or stay healthy, are vulnerable because they risk being run over by a motor vehicle. Many roads in New Jersey are not designed to protect pedestrians and cyclists from moving vehicles. In this regard, the NJSPL makes it clear to drivers that the era of "speed up and squeeze by" must end in New Jersey. The messaging to drivers is simple: slow down and pass only safely.

The NJSPL joins the two other laws intended to save pedestrians' lives, the Move Over and Stop for Pedestrians in Crosswalk Laws. To eliminate the drivers' behavior of speeding up and squeezing by other road users, the NJSPL introduces a safety-zone requirement.
 

A few examples are:

• Estimating the distance for following too close or tailgating violations.

• DWI Standard Field Sobriety Tests: One Leg Stand: Determining six inches off the ground and how far arms were out for balance, and the Walk And Turn: Determining how far stepped from the line and/or gap distance between heel-to-toe.

• The tracking history (speed estimates) when operating radar/lidar.

• Violations pertaining to crossing the centerline, failing to keep right, maintaining lane, and determining how far the vehicle was over the line.

• The distance for parking violations concerning failure to park within six inches of the curb.

It is the goal of the Lower Township Police Department to educate the public and bring awareness to the new law prior to strict enforcement.  This initial phase will also include warning pedestrians, pedacyclists, and other road users of their violations, as applicable. 

We are serious about ensuring safety and thank you in advance for your anticipated compliance.  

Address/Location
Lower Township Police Department
405 Breakwater Rd
Cape May, NJ 08204

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 609-886-1619

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405 Breakwater Rd
Cape May, NJ 08204

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