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Ways to stay safe as a pedestrian in New Jersey

To stay safe as a pedestrian, you should know the laws of the roads and how the state protects you. In New Jersey, motorists must stop and stay stopped if they see you or others in a crosswalk. They may not continue on until after you have passed through the entire crosswalk, making it safer for you to cross without the risk of a car bumping you or hitting you because of an impatient driver.

If a driver doesn't observe this law, the driver can be given a traffic violation. The driver receives two points on his or her license, must participate in community service in some circumstances, may have to pay a fine or could have to pay higher insurance fees.

As a pedestrian, there are also rules you must follow. You need to obey pedestrian signals and use crosswalks at intersections. Jay walking is a crime in New Jersey. If you fail to observe the above laws, you can be charged with a $54 fine.

Some tips the state suggests for staying safe include crossing at crosswalks, but if you have to cross away from one, remember to yield to the right of way of traffic. Walk toward traffic, not with traffic, so drivers can make eye contact with you as they drive. Don't assume drivers are going to stop when you get to a crosswalk; always look both ways before you cross and watch out for cars that may be turning around a corner. If you must walk at night, make sure your clothing is reflective, so lights will bounce off you.

Source: The State of New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety, "Pedestrian Safety," accessed June 08, 2016

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