Some New Jersey lawmakers are proposing legislation they say would balance the responsibility between drivers and pedestrians.
Current law gives pedestrians the right of way, but Assemblyman Bruce Land said some walkers don’t pay much attention when they want to cross the street.
“People up and down the streets, they’ll just cross right in the middle of the street without even looking,” said Land, D-Cape May. “We’re trying to get the onus on that you have to cross in certain areas, and make sure you look both ways so it’s not just put right on the drivers.”
The legislation would require pedestrians to use designated crosswalks and wait for traffic to yield before stepping onto a roadway, said Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak, D-Cape May.
“We already have laws as far as jaywalking goes and things like that. They would just be enforced more,” he said. “Not only that. When it comes to incidents as far as a written report by police, it would be documents as to who was actually at fault.”
Assembly Transportation Committee chairman John Wisniewski said he doesn’t support the measure.
“I just think about it in terms of the relative equities. I mean, you’ve got a person weighing on average 150 pounds versus a car weighing on average a ton and a half,” said Wisniewski, D-Middlesex. “It doesn’t seem like we should be doing legislation to put them on an equal footing.”
There’s no indication whether legislative leaders will advance the measure.