Safety is a Two-Way Street
During the summer months, there are longer daylight hours and warmer weather resulting in more people walking, cycling, and driving on our roadways. With this increase in traffic, it is important for pedestrians and motorists to focus on sharing the road. During the past several years the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities have increased. We want to change that and help you be safe this summer when walking, running or cycling in New Jersey.
- Use hand signals – so vehicles know which direction you are headed.
- Use lights – NJ requires a white light on the front and red light on the back when riding at night.
- Wear a helmet – state law requires anyone under 17 to wear a helmet.
- Obey all traffic laws– keep right, stop at red lights, and stop signs.
- Use cross walks and cross at intersections – make eye contact with the driver before crossing.
- Use sidewalks when available – if not stay close to the curb and walk facing traffic.
- Obey WALK/DON’T WALK signs
- Watch for cars – entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots.
- Cross the street in a well-lit area – under streetlights or near crosswalks if available. If not, use your phone as a flashlight and cross at corners.
- Dress to be seen – wear bright reflective clothing and use blinking lights when out at night.
- Avoid being distracted – by your phone and wearing headphones, especially when crossing.
- Avoid alcohol and other drugs – it can slow your reaction time and alter your balance when riding or walking.
million people in the US ride their bike annually
pedestrians killed on NJ roadways in 2021
is the average age when most kids learn to ride a bike
Get Your Bike Ready for Summer
5 Things to Check Before Your Next Ride
Summer is finally here! Is your bike ready to take on the warmer weather? Most of our bikes have spent the last few months tucked away in the garage. Make sure you give your bike the proper tune up before you take it out on the road this summer. These 5 simple safety tips are essential for all riders to ensure a safe summer ride.
- Inspect your brakes – check for wear on the brake pads and replace if necessary. The brake pad should rest against your rim when activated and should not be loose.
- Check your tires for wear – Look at the tread, inspect for bald tires and cracks and properly inflate. Proper inflation range is listed on the side of the tire, if you can’t read this anymore – it is time for some new tires!
- Check your wheels – make sure your wheels are mounted properly and on straight. Spin the wheel to see if it has any wobbles or hops and listen for brake pad rubbing.
- Clean and lube your chain – clean it off with soap and water or a cleaning agent. Once it is dry put a light oil on it to prevent rust. It is also important to make sure the chain is not loose.
- Seat check – This is especially important for kids. Make sure the height of the seat is still appropriate for them and adjust if necessary.
For a thorough tune up, take your bike to your local bike shop!
- Anyone under 17, must wear an approved helmet. We recommend all ages!
- Bikes must be equipped with a bell or horn that is audible up to 100 ft.
- Bikes are required to have lights on the front and back, that can be seen from 50 ft.
- Obey all the traffic laws and use hand signals so vehicles know where you are headed.
- Cyclists should always ride single file, or two alongside each other when traffic is not impeded.
Wearing a helmet to protect your head in the event of a crash is a no brainer. But wait! Before you strap on that helmet on yourself or a child, make sure your helmet:
- Is designed for your activity (bicycle helmets are different than those for skateboarding/rollerblading)
- Fits properly
- Does not have any cracks or defects
- Has a SNELL or ASTM seal of approval on it.
- Is replaced every 3-5 years
75% of pedestrian fatalities occur in the dark. Be extra cautious when walking at night.
The NJ Safe Passing Law went into effect on March 1st and requires drivers to slow down and move over for pedestrians, cyclists, and other vulnerable roadway users. Learn more here.
- Drivers must move over a lane if possible (while following existing laws).
- Drivers must provide a distance of at least 4 feet when passing vulnerable road users. Otherwise, drivers must slow to 25mph and be prepared to stop until they can pass safely.
- The penalty for this law is a $100 fine ($500 if bodily injury) and two points on your driving record.
As a motorist, be mindful of this increase of summer traffic. Expect to see more pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections as well as in downtown areas where pedestrians tend to cross in the middle of a block or in crowded areas and event venues.
- Drive slow throughout crowded beach towns, there may be new or inexperienced cyclists
- Don’t pass vehicles on the right, there often cyclists riding in the shoulder
- Be patient, drive the speed limit and give yourself extra time for traffic
- Look for pedestrians and cyclists everywhere, and always proceed with caution
Whether you have kids or are just passing through towns as children are playing, parents and motorists have a responsibility to help ensure the safety of children and teens.
- Have children play in areas away from busy streets, driveways and parking lots
- Make sure young children are accompanied by an adult, especially when crossing streets
- When there is no sidewalk, walk close to the curb facing traffic
- When playing later in the day, children should be in bright or reflective clothing.
- Teach older children to cross in well-lit areas and use their cellphone flashlight to be visible to drivers when crossing.
From construction workers to landscapers — lots of people work on and near roadways. Make sure you “Give them a Brake” by slowing down and allowing space for them to work safely. In many cases these workers are using equipment that may prevent them from hearing vehicles coming. Keep your eyes out for:
- Sanitation workers
- Tow-truck operators
- Police & Emergency Responders
- Crossing guards
- Utility workers
- Construction workers
- Mail/package carriers