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Why is pedestrian safety important in New Jersey?

Pedestrian safety is an important part of traffic safety. In fact, pedestrians are the group second most likely to be involved in a traffic accident in New Jersey. Most often it's children and older individuals who are victims of these accidents.

Pedestrians are most often found in the greatest density in developed areas like cities and town centers, but that's not the only place where they could suffer injuries. Pedestrian activity is also significant in neighborhoods and around suburban roadways.

In almost all cases, pedestrians have the right-of-way at intersections. Even if a crosswalk is not marked at the intersection, there is an intersection there. It's called an unmarked crosswalk.

In the state of New Jersey, motorists are prohibited from blocking the crosswalk when they are stopped at a red light or a stop sign. If the motorist blocks the crosswalk it could force the pedestrian to go around the vehicle, which puts them in danger. Drivers should not pass vehicles that are stopped at a crosswalk. This can result in an accident if the vehicle is stopped to allow pedestrians to pass.

Motorists should also be careful around special-hazard areas such as schools and playgrounds. Schools, parks and bus stops are areas where children who may or may not be familiar with the rules of the road gather.

If a driver strikes a pedestrian in any of these situations, it's important for the pedestrian and his or her family to know that it's possible to seek a claim against the driver. The claim can help them get the compensation needed to pay for medical care, lost wages and other expenses.

Source: State of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, "Pedestrian Safety is a two-way street," accessed Oct. 19, 2016

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