4/4/2008New Jersey May Cash in on Crosswalks
New Jersey Assembly considers making it easier and more profitable to ticket motorists approaching crosswalks.
The New Jersey state legislature is considering a bill that would allow police to issue more expensive traffic tickets for newly created offenses involving pedestrians. Last month, the state Assembly's Transportation Committee unanimously passed A1329, a bill introduced by Deputy Speakers Linda Stender (D-Scotch Plains) and John S. Wisniewski (D-Parlin) designed to simplify the process of writing citations at crosswalks.
"Under current law, motorists must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, but do not have the clear duty of stopping and remaining stopped," the official bill summary explains.
A1329 resolves this problem by, in the case of a one-way street, forcing motorists to stop and wait while a pedestrian crosses the entire road. In all other cases, motorists would have to wait while pedestrians cross the half of the road in the same direction of travel as the vehicle -- even in cases where it would be entirely safe for the motorist to continue. Those who violate the new standard would face a fine doubled from $100 to $200. Judges would also have the option to impose 15 days of community service. The bill would also make it a crime for a pedestrian to run directly in front of a car that would not be able to stop in time.
"No pedestrian shall leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield or stop," the proposed legislation states.
Nonetheless, the bill creates a presumption that the driver is always at fault in the case of an accident involving a pedestrian. Assembly Whip Jon M. Bramnick (R-Westfield) took the concept a step further by introducing a A212, not yet considered by committee, which would allow police to ticket a motorist for failing to stop at a crosswalk if a pedestrian happens to be standing on a nearby curb.
View the full text of A1329 in a 40k PDF file at the source link below.