New Jersey is Cracking Down Careless Pedestrians


One morning, you are driving for work and witnessed a pedestrian being hit by a motorist. You cannot help but think how careless the driver was to hit the poor guy. Well, the assumption may or may not be true because there are times that even the most vigilant driver becomes the victim of careless pedestrians. 

According to the report of Washington University in St. Louis Missouri, more than half or about 51% of all the reported accidents, pedestrians were found to be at-fault.

The personal responsibility

Many states recognize that being safe on the road is not the sole responsibility of the drivers but to the pedestrians as well. In fact, in the State of Colorado, the law clearly indicates that pedestrians must wait and give ample time for the vehicle to full stop before entering the crosswalk.

There are also existing pedestrian laws such as anti-jaywalking and crossing to protect the people from being hit unnecessarily. The State of New Jersey has brought this law to the next level by imposing severe fines to the violators.  As much as $200 is charged for a single violation and two demerit points against their driving records. As we all know, bad driving records would mean high insurance premiums – even if they were not driving the vehicle that time.

The increasing statistics of auto related pedestrian fatalities in New Jersey is twice as the national average which prompted the state to create new laws that took effect early this year. However, this law did not only focus on the pedestrians but to the motorists too. In the past, motorists are required to give right-of-way when pedestrians are crossing, but now, motorists are required to make a full-stop as long as there are pedestrians crossing across the road.

Are these new laws unfair?

If we look at these laws, it seems unfair to the motorists to receive a penalty for non-driving related incident or violation.  But if we are to look beyond our noses, the carelessness of the pedestrians will cost money for the affected policyholder. During an accident, when a motorist hit a pedestrian, the settlement will most likely focus for the medical treatment of the victim rather than to do vehicle itself, which normally would not need any expensive repairs at all.

When an injured pedestrian files his claims to his own health and medical coverage, naturally his insurer would also demand for reimbursement from the driver’s insurance company.  Everyone has to have some sort of profit to sustain the business and raising the auto insurance rates is usually the remedy.

In a similar report, one province in Ontario has decided to cut down half the amount of coverage that pays for medical benefits. Although at any point drivers could purchase additional coverage, but few will likely to do so. This is pretty much of a gamble for the drivers who might be thinking that they will not need the full medical assistance if they get into accidents.

The problem lies when a driver hits a pedestrian or bicycle with no auto collision coverage. Naturally, the driver’s insurance coverage will be used to pay for the victim’s medical and rehabilitation needs. With the current law in place, most of the drivers have only about half of the coverage he used to have. This means the he will need to find ways to find money to pay for any additional expenses.

Safety on the road is everyone’s business and a little ounce of prevention saves life and property.