This new law helps keep cyclists and others safe on the road

Governor Murphy has signed a law that requires motorists to give cyclists and other non-motorists a wide berth when passing.

The Safe Passing Law informs motorists when and how to safely pass a cyclist, pedestrian and other vulnerable road users (such as skaters and people on scooters or in wheelchairs).

If you’re driving and need to pass one of these non-motorists on the road, here’s what to do:

  1. Move over one lane from the cyclist, pedestrian or other road user IF it is possible AND SAFE to do so.
  2. If no additional lane is available, pass when there is at least 4 feet between your vehicle and the cyclist, pedestrian or other user.
  3. If neither is a safe option, reduce your vehicle speed to 25 mph. Reduce your vehicle’s speed even further if the posted speed limit is less than 25 mph.

Please don’t try to squeeze by a cyclist or other vulnerable road user, especially if you can’t see oncoming traffic.

Remember that cyclists ride as far to the right as practicable – that does not mean they hug the curb or white line. They (and others) need room to navigate around glass, yard waste and other debris in the road, bike lane or shoulder, and they hate potholes and bumps at least as much as you do.

Slowing down and passing safely likely will cost you just seconds, but your actions can prevent accidents, injuries and fatalities.

The law takes effect early next year, but please start following it now. New Jersey joins 42 other states with similar laws, so take these habits with you when you leave the Garden State.

A reminder to cyclists: bike in the same direction as traffic. It’s not only the law, it’s safer. Remember to be visible and be predictable. Pedestrians, you should walk in the direction of oncoming traffic as much as possible when in the road.

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