New NJ ‘move over’ law protecting pedestrians, bikers now in effect
As stipulated when it was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in the summer of 2021, a new law designed to protect pedestrians, bike and scooter riders, and people in wheelchairs along New Jersey roadways went into effect Tuesday.
The date of March 1 corresponds to the first day of the seventh month after legalization of the new measure, a takeoff on the state's longstanding "move over" law that Murphy inked last Aug. 5.
While the original statute was intended to get motorists to slow down or shift lanes to accommodate emergency or construction vehicles on the shoulder, the new one looks out in a similar fashion for people in wheelchairs or motorized wheelchairs, riders of bicycles or electric bikes or scooters, and public utility or property maintenance workers.
In cases where those means of personal conveyance are permitted on roads, the law states, motor vehicle operators must either move to a lane not adjacent to the "pedestrian" if safe to do so, maintain a distance of at least four feet if a lane change is not possible, or if unable to utilize either of those options, slow down to 25 miles per hour and be prepared to stop, passing only if it will not endanger anyone else on the road.
Drivers who violate this law in an incident resulting in bodily injury are subject to a $500 fine and two points on their license; if no bodily injury occurs, the fine is $100 with no points assessed.
Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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