Jersey has suffered a disproportional number of pedestrian injury crashes and fatalities compared to the nation as a whole. Statewide since 2004, more than 30,000 pedestrians have been injured in motor-vehicle related crashes.
The Attorney General said that with the changes in the law “motorists and pedestrians will no longer have to play a game of chicken when it comes to maneuvering on our roadways.” She added, “The new law brings clarity that drivers must stop and remain stopped at intersections and crosswalks, and pedestrians, in turn, must use due care and not jaywalk or step into traffic outside crossing points.”
The drafters of the new law, which originated from research conducted by the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center of Rutgers University, believed that protections for New Jersey pedestrians in crosswalks had eroded since the automobile began to dominate our streets.
The New Jersey State Traffic Commission Report, issued in 1928, when the automobile began to emerge as a major factor in the roadway, observed:
"Traffic accident records disclose a startling number and proportion of pedestrian fatalities and injuries. The common-law rule has maintained for many centuries that all users of the