Beginning on Thursday, February 23 as part of an ongoing effort to improve pedestrian safety and decrease distracted and careless driving, the Summit Police Department Patrol Bureau and Traffic Bureau are increasing enforcement of motor vehicle and pedestrian violations in the Central Retail Business District and adjacent downtown areas.
During these patrols, warnings and summonses will be issued to motorists and pedestrians whose actions put pedestrians at risk. Enforcement of stops for pedestrian and jaywalking laws will be made on a continuing basis.
The Summit Police Department reminds motorists to stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian in a crossing at a marked crosswalk. At intersections, drivers must give way to pedestrians crossing the road. Pedestrians must wait for a suitable gap in the traffic flow before crossing a road or entering a crosswalk, ensuring that it is safe to do so.
In the State of New Jersey, motorists who fail to yield to pedestrians or who overtake and pass vehicles that are stopped for pedestrians are subject to, upon conviction for a violation of the law, two points and a $231 fine. They may also receive enhanced penalties that include up to 15 days of community service and will incur insurance surcharges.
Pedestrians are required to obey traffic signals, use crosswalks, and follow pedestrian signals at intersections. At an unsignalized intersection, they must wait for a suitable gap in traffic flow before crossing a road or entering a crosswalk. Pedestrians do not have the right-of-way unless it is safe to enter a crosswalk. Failure to observe pedestrian laws in the State of New Jersey carries a $54 fine.
Motorists who park vehicles illegally will also be subject to ticketing. Illegal parking disrupts traffic flow and impedes line-of-sight for both motorists and pedestrians, creating safety issues.
To help encourage safe driving and walking, Summit police have issued the following tips for motorists and pedestrians.
Tips for Drivers
- Put the phone down. Pull over to the side of the road if you have a distraction that cannot wait until you get to your destination.
- Look for pedestrians everywhere. Pedestrians may not be walking where they should be or may be hard to see, especially in poorly lit conditions, including dusk, dawn, night, and inclement weather.
- Always stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk.
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. They may be stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the street.
- Slow down and look for pedestrians who may be entering a crosswalk.
- When turning at intersections, reduce speed to five miles per hour.
- Follow the speed limit; slow down around pedestrians.
- Stay focused and slow down where children may be present, such as in school zones and neighborhoods.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Tips for Pedestrians
- Pay attention, put the phone down, and avoid distractions, especially when crossing the street.
- Walk on a sidewalk or path when one is available.
- If no sidewalk or path is available, walk on the shoulder, facing traffic. Stay alert; don’t be distracted by electronic devices, including phones, earbuds/headphones, and other devices that take your eyes and ears off the road.
- Be predictable. Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections when possible. This is where drivers expect to see pedestrians.
- If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area, wait for a gap in traffic that allows you enough time to cross safely, and continue to watch for traffic as you cross.
- Never assume that a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach.
- Teach children how to safely cross streets and to watch for moving vehicles in driveways when walking on the sidewalk.
- Be visible. Wear bright clothing during the day and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
For more information on pedestrian and vehicle safety from the Summit Police Department, go to cityofsummit.org/police.