Determining When Pedestrians Must Yield to Motor Vehicle Operators
Pedestrian accidents are a serious problem in New Jersey and across the United States, with more than 350 injured pedestrians visiting a hospital emergency room somewhere in America every day. New Jersey has specific laws on the books to protect the health and safety of pedestrians. The goals of those statutes are to encourage the safe sharing of the roadway.
One of the obvious questions has to do with right of way. If a motor vehicle operator has a green light and a pedestrian has the “walk” sign, who actually has the right of way? Here’s how New Jersey addresses that issue:
- As a general rule, a motorist must stop and let a pedestrian cross if the pedestrian is either halfway across the road (through the crosswalk) or so close to the middle that it would create a danger to make the pedestrian stop.
- A pedestrian crossing at an intersection (with a marked or unmarked crosswalk) must yield to the right of way of motor vehicle operators.
- A pedestrian must obey all crosswalk signals (“Don’t walk,” for example), unless instructed by a law enforcement or public safety officer
- A pedestrian may not cross diagonally at an intersection, unless there is a traffic control signal allowing and governing that type of crossing.
- A pedestrian may not enter into a crosswalk if the signal warns against entry or if a vehicle entering the crosswalk would not be able to yield or stop
A pedestrian on a sidewalk always has the right of way with respect to a motor vehicle, whether the driver is leaving or entering a driveway, alley, parking ramp, private road or parking lot.
At the Cintron Firm, LLC, we offer more than 14 years of experience to people in New Jersey facing a broad array of legal challenges, including people who have sustained workplace injuries. Attorney Mark Cintron has worked as a prosecutor and has extensive courtroom experience, so he’s always ready, willing and able to protect your interests before a judge or jury. Contact our office online or call us at 201-791-1333 or (201) 535-0323 to set up an appointment.