TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Ellen Karcher which would require all vehicles to come to a complete stop at a stop sign before proceeding through the intersection was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee today by a vote of 4-0.
“This is a common sense approach which will vastly improve safety on our roadways,” said Senator Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer. “New Jersey is a commuter state, and our reliance on the automobile can sometimes make for a dangerous situation, especially when we’re in a hurry. Requiring vehicles to come to a full stop at all stop signs gives the driver the moment they need to take in their surroundings and proceed through the intersection safely.”
The bill, S-1244, would amend current law, repealing a provision that allows drivers to proceed through a stop intersection without stopping at the sign if they were in line with another vehicle which had already come to a complete stop. Senator Karcher noted that last year in New Jersey, the Department of Transportation reported 758 traffic deaths and 156 pedestrian deaths — a figure that could be reduced if drivers faithfully observed stop signals.
“A stop sign shouldn’t be a suggestion — it should be unequivocally followed,” said Senator Karcher. “So many drivers and pedestrians don’t even know that under the current law, drivers can proceed through a stop without batting an eye, as long as they stopped with the car before them. This confusion could potentially have fatal consequences, and clarification will make the roads safer for everyone.”
The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.