A Cautionary Tale for Beach-Goers
As beach season comes into full swing, families should be fully aware of the dangers of crossing the street when heading to the beach. In 2016 alone, 167 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in New Jersey. The dangers are particularly high in beach towns, which have many people walking from their cars to the beach, often with children, strollers, chairs, umbrellas, beach bags, coolers, and other supplies in tow.
After a 21-year-old pedestrian was killed while crossing a street in Ocean City in 2009, the New Jersey legislature passed a new pedestrian law in 2010, called the “Stop and Stay Stopped” law. The law mandates that cars must stop for pedestrians in crosswalks while they cross the street. However, many pedestrians began assuming the law means that cars will have to automatically stop for them wherever they decide to cross and even started stepping out into the street when there is oncoming traffic, often resulting in crashes.
If a driver is the slightest bit distracted when a pedestrian is crossing, they may not be able to stop in time. In addition, pedestrians may misjudge the speed of cars and their ability to safely stop before reaching a crosswalk. If a car suddenly slams on its brakes because a pedestrian enters the road, it may result in a rear-end collision.
Some leaders in New Jersey would like the law repealed as they claim it gives pedestrians a false sense of safety that has led to overly bold behaviors. Others believe that the state needs to simply educate pedestrians on safer practices.
If nothing changes, pedestrians risk being seriously injured and drivers may face liability for causing personal injury. Furthermore, drivers may be cited if they fail to stop for a crosswalk and a ticket can include:
- $200 fine
- 2 points on your license
- Community service
- Increased insurance costs
Pedestrians who fail to properly use crosswalks and obey traffic signals can face a $54 fine and ticket.
Call 732-662-7658 today for a free consultation.
It is always best for both drivers and pedestrians to obey the laws and take necessary care to keep everyone safe. However, if you are injured by a car while crossing the street or if you have received a traffic ticket, you should not hesitate to call the Law Offices of Leon Matchin. We have helped many drivers and injured pedestrians in New Jersey, so please contact us to discuss your case for free today.