TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senators Joseph Coniglio and Paul A. Sarlo that would work to increase pedestrian safety at dangerous crosswalks and intersections received final legislative approval today in the Assembly.
“As congestion and traffic become ever increasing nuisances to the people of New Jersey, we need to take every step possible to encourage people to walk more and use their cars less,” said Senator Coniglio, D-Bergen. “We are working hard to make sure that crosswalks and intersections are as safe as possible for pedestrians, so that New Jersey residents will be more likely to walk to the grocery store, their child’s school or a neighbor’s house.”
The Senators’ measure, S-251, would direct the Commissioner of Transportation to identify intersections throughout the State with high instances of accidents involving pedestrians. Under the bill, right turns at red lights would be prohibited at any of the dangerous intersections. Transportation officials would be required to post signs reading “Yield to Pedestrians, It’s the Law,” in crosswalks.
This legislation was drafted after The Record of Hackensack published a series of articles highlighting the increase in the number of fatal accidents involving pedestrians in Northern New Jesey, particularly in Bergen and Essex counties.
“This measure would work to protect pedestrians,” said Senator Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic. “By banning right turns on red and increasing the number of signs warning pedestrians and drivers, we are hoping to cut down on the number of traffic accidents throughout the State.”
Senator Coniglio also noted that earlier this month Governor Codey signed into law his legislation to increase the fine for failure to yield to a pedestrian by $50. The $44,000 in additional money expected by the increased fine be directed that into a fund dedicated to improving pedestrian safety enforcement and education
This measure received Senate approval on February 23, 2004. It now head back to the Senate for their concurrence on amendments before going to Governor Codey’s desk, where his signature would make it State law.