You are driving to lunch through downtown Elizabeth one afternoon when you come across a pedestrian crosswalk. You slow down but don’t stop. You didn’t see the pedestrian to the far right who evidently stepped off the curb and into the marked crosswalk, expecting you to stop and let him cross. You’re well aware that you should yield for pedestrians but are in a hurry.
Oh well, maybe next time, you think to yourself. But as you keep moving, you see two police cruisers on the right shoulder, with uniformed police standing by. One police officer waves at you and points to the shoulder for you to pull over. The officer tells you that the police are cracking down in the town on drivers who fail to yield for pedestrians in crosswalks due to many complaints. You receive a ticket.
Driving Through a Crosswalk is a Violation
New Jersey drivers must always yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. This includes giving right-of-way to a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. Drivers are required to stop and stay stopped until the pedestrian has left half of the roadway. This measure is aimed to protect walkers, bikers, children, families with strollers, dogs, and people on motorized vehicles like scooters.
Many pedestrian crosswalks throughout busy New Jersey towns are clearly marked with painted walkways, signs, markers, and even blinking lights. However, this does not guarantee that drivers in a hurry will slow down or stop, often making pedestrians tentative about stepping off the curb.
N.J.S.A. 39:4-36 makes it clear that drivers are expected to give pedestrians the right of way. The only exception is when police officers or traffic signals are controlling the intersections. All things considered, it just seems logical that drivers watch out for people on foot or on bicycles.
Likewise, if you are making a right turn on red, the oncoming pedestrians coming your way has the right-of-way, and you need to wait. The onus is on both parties to act in a safe manner, but moreso on the motor vehicle operator. Also, drivers should not pass other vehicles which are stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the street.
If convicted of this offense, you may be subject to a fine of not more than $200, 15 days of community service, and two points on your driving record.
If a violation results in serious bodily injury to a pedestrian, you may be subject to a fine of not less than $100 or more than $500, jail time, or a license suspension not to exceed six months.
Contact a New Jersey Lawyer
If you have been ticketed for failure to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing and feel that it is unwarranted, a skilled New Jersey traffic lawyer might be able to get this violation reduced to a lesser offense. Also, if you or someone has been injured in an accident involving a pedestrian, our experienced attorneys can help. Call the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo now for a free consultation.