As you may recall, in August 2021, Governor Murphy signed the above referenced New Jersey Passing Law (“Safe Passing Law”). This law officially goes into effect on Saturday, February 5, 2022.
Under the Safe Passing Law, drivers in New Jersey, when passing cyclists or pedestrians, must move over one lane if it’s safe to do so. If moving over one lane isn’t possible or safe, drivers must allow four feet of space between their vehicle and the cyclist or the pedestrian until they’ve safely passed them. In the event this spacing isn’t possible to safely allow for four feet of clearance between the vehicle and cyclist/pedestrian the driver must slow the vehicle to 25 MPH while passing, and be ready to brake if necessary.
Drivers who fail to follow the directives contained in the Safe Passing Law can be fined $100. In addition, in the event a driver fails to follow the directive, and as a result an accident occurs between a driver and a cyclist/pedestrian that causes bodily injury, the driver will be fined $500, and two (2) points will be added to their driving record.
While the Safe Passing Law is a significant step toward making New Jersey roads a safer place for cyclists, we can be sure we will continue to encounter some negligent drivers while cycling. Negligent drivers will continue to present a clear and present danger while we are riding on the road. Therefore, we need to remain vigilant and ensure we are riding safely, and that we are following all of the rules of the road and best practices for cyclists, e.g., wearing helmets, use of lights and reflectors, single file riding when riding in group rides, and riding with properly maintained bicycles.
Hope you find the above helpful. Should you have any questions on the Safe Passing Law, or any safety tips you can employ to continue to ride safely, please feel free to contact me or any of the Skylands Board members.