State of NJ Bicycling Manual

Bicycle Safety Tips – New Jersey Division of Highway & Traffic Safety

As a general rule, bicyclists must obey the same traffic laws as vehicle drivers. Please read the Regulations for Biking in New Jersey for more details.

The following laws and safety rules are particularly important for bicyclists:

  • Always ride with the traffic flow, as close to the right edge of the road as possible.
  • Obey all traffic signals, pavement markings and directions given by police officers.
  • Use hand signals to let drivers know your intentions.
  • Bicycling after dark is very hazardous. Bicycles must be equipped with a front light that reaches 500 feet and a both a rear light that reaches 500 feet and a red reflector.
  • Wearing light-colored, reflective clothing increases your visibility to other drivers during the day and night.
  • Learn to look over your shoulder without losing your balance or swerving left.
  • Do not pass on the right (motorists often will not look for passing cyclists in that direction).
  • When moving the same speed as traffic, ride in the middle of the lane, especially at busy intersections.
  • Keep both hands on the brakes. Allow extra stopping time in the rain.
  • Be alert for cars pulling out and make eye contact with the drivers to ensure you have been seen.
  • Do not weave between parked cars or cars stopped in traffic.

Pedestrian Safety

Without a vehicle or protective equipment, pedestrians are the roadway users most at risk in traffic. Drivers and pedestrians are both responsible for traffic safety. A simple rule is that drivers should always be prepared to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Important safety tips pedestrians should know are:

  • Be predictable. Use sidewalks where provided. Cross or enter streets where it is legal to do so.  Avoid walking in roadways or areas signed for vehicular traffic only.  University Police Officers may stop, or issue a summons to, anyone walking on a roadway.
  • If a side walk is closed due to construction, cross the street and use the sidewalk on the other side or find a safe alternate route out of traffic.
  • Make it easy for drivers to see you, dress in light colors and wear reflective materials. if walking at night use an device to illuminate you.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing to be sure they see you.
  • Alcohol and drugs can impair your ability to walk safely, just like they do a person’s ability to drive.
  • Use extra caution when crossing multiple lane, higher speed streets (such as Morris Avenue).
  • Cross at marked crosswalks or intersections. Pedestrians are most often hit by cars when they cross the road at places other than intersections.
  • Look “Left, Right and Left” for traffic. Stop at the curb and look left, right and left again for traffic. Standing at the curb and looking both ways signals drivers that you intend to cross.
  • Always obey traffic signals. At intersections where traffic is controlled by signals or a police officer, pedestrians must obey the signal and not cross against the stop signal unless specifically directed to do so by a police officer.
  • If a car is parked where you are crossing make sure there is no driver in the car. Then go to the edge of the car and look left, right, left until no cars are coming. Keep looking for cars while you are crossing.

Drivers Responsibility for Pedestrian Safety

  • Always stop for pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections.
  • Don't block crosswalks when stopping at intersections.
  • Obey the posted speed limits and all posted traffic signs on campus.
  • Always look for pedestrians, especially before turning at a green light or making a "right turn on red".
  • Be careful when passing stopped vehicles. They might be stopped for pedestrians.
  • Share the road. It's your responsibility to look out for others.

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