New move over laws now include passing cyclists, pedestrians and those in wheelchairs
Drivers who are looking to pass someone jogging or riding a bike will now be required to move over, or face a ticket, under a new law.
“I have a lot of customers who no longer ride on roads because they’re afraid of getting hit,” says Richard Tustin, owner of Erlton Bicycle Shop.
Tustin is a cyclist himself and says that he is happy to see that cyclists, pedestrians and those in wheelchairs and scooters are now included in the move over laws.
“A lot of times people pass too fast or are not paying attention to what they’re doing and you can get pretty nervous out there,” Tustin says.
The safe passing law was previously passed and went into effect statewide this week.
“If [drivers] can make a safe lane change, then they should be doing that. If not, they have to have a minimum of a 4-foot buffer, that safety zone,” says Gloucester Township Police Lt. Melissa Capanna.
Anyone who cannot provide 4 feet of space to pass must slow to 25 mph and wait until they can safely go around.
"Infrastructure in New Jersey is really not set up for cyclists. Very poor shoulders and most of the roads and therefore I find that having cars around them at a safe distance, 4-foot distance, is really going to help keep everybody happy and healthy,” says Tustin.
Officials say that in 2021, more than 700 people were killed on New Jersey’s roadways. Cyclist deaths are up 28% and pedestrian deaths are up 24%. Those who support the law say that they hope it helps bring those numbers down.
"If they put it into the books like when you are getting your drivers manual, after a while hopefully that will get to the point where people are paying attention to it,” says Tustin.
People who do not follow the law can be fined anywhere from $100-$500 and points on the license.