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New NJ Safe Passing Law

Statement from Vision Zero New Jersey Alliance on creation of the NJ Target Zero Commission (A4296)

For more information, contact: 

Vision Zero NJ Alliance 

(908) 791-5751,  


Statement from Vision Zero New Jersey Alliance on creation of the NJ Target Zero Commission (A4296)

This press release contains the statement issued from the Vision Zero New Jersey Alliance on the creation of the NJ Target Zero Commission (A4296) which was passed on June 8th by the New Jersey Assembly State and Local Government Committee. NJBWC is a founding partner in the Vision Zero Alliance. The official statement can be found below:


Vision Zero NJ Alliance Statement: 

Vision Zero NJ Alliance advocates say they are ready to help the State eliminate death and serious injuries suffered by all users on all roadways by 2040 if the NJ Target Zero Commission becomes law.

Bill A4296, unanimously cleared on a bipartisan vote for introduction by the NJ Assembly State and Local Government Committee on June 8, would create a NJ Target Zero Commission. The commission is a collaborative interagency effort tasked with creating an action plan based on Vision Zero and the FHWA-recommended Safe System Approach, which has shown proven success in Hoboken, Jersey City, and around the globe. The Bill outlines the steps required to meet the 2040 deadline and calls on the Commission to accelerate a timeline for changes in the way NJ’s roads are designed, built, funded and used.

Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak (D-34), one of the bill’s sponsors, testified before the Committee and said it was written to change the State’s approach to road safety for all users by mandating collaboration by 13 government agencies— and by calling on advocates and other experts to help shape the action plans. “The most important thing…beyond government, is that … the stakeholders have to be involved here. It’s not just going to be the government making a decision and that’s it. This is all the key stakeholders – advocates and experts are all going to have a say [on] this Commission,” Assemblyman Karabinchak told the Committee.

The Alliance will do all it can to give high public visibility to the urgent need for tangible actions — with firm deadlines, public involvement and budget support— that signify NJ will no longer do business as usual when road projects are discussed, planned and funded. The Alliance expects that a Target Zero action plan for NJ will not simply be an extension of the current Strategic Highway Safety Plan.

The Alliance has documented the urgent need for designing roads that can be safely shared by all road users of all ages, abilities and incomes in our state—no matter how they choose to travel. The Alliance includes elected officials and public servants from the towns and counties already working on their own Vision Zero strategies with impressive results that prove achieving the goal is possible. The Alliance also includes advocates, professional transportation experts, and, most significantly, families who have suffered from road violence. 

Vision Zero NJ Alliance members celebrated the following key provisions of the bill that, if employed as intended by the legislation, could fundamentally change the State’s current piece-meal approach:

  • Coordination of plans and actions by 13 Commission members representing departments responsible for transportation, health, safety, law enforcement, and the environment
  • Requiring the commission to meet with key stakeholders, advocates, and experts
  • Applying the FHWA-recommended Safe System Approach (with five key elements – Safer Roads, Safer road users, Safer Vehicles, Safer Speeds and Post-Crash Care) which emphasizes the design of roadways including sidewalks, crosswalks, shoulders, and trail crossings; bicycle and scooter parking; and access to transit, schools, and parks
  • Focusing on inclusion and equity for all road users 
  • Encouraging active transportation and mass transit as safe and viable forms of transportation for people of all ages and abilities
  • Creating a publicly accessible data website that includes traffic crash data and a high injury network of roadways in the State 

Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli (D-15), chair of the State and Local Government Committee, concluded the hearing on the Target Zero bill with these remarks – “I believe when this committee convenes, we convene to make a difference in the lives of people in the state of New Jersey, and I think this bill…makes a difference, because if we can save one life, we’ve accomplished a goal. But the goal is even further: to save all lives.”

The Alliance believes all of us who live in New Jersey have the right to leave home and return safely on roads designed to end the risk of death and serious injuries, no matter how or when we choose to travel.



Protecting All Who Share the Roads

Law sets guidelines to prevent the near misses, injuries and deaths suffered by  the most vulnerable road users after NJ set a traffic fatality record in 2021


TRENTON, NJ, March 1, 2022––Starting today, the NJ Safe Passing Law (NJSPL) (A5570/S2208) goes into effect. The new law provides clear rules of the road for all motorists about when and how to pass people sharing the road on foot, on bicycles, on scooters, wheelchairs or in other legally permitted ways to travel other than a motor vehicle.

The bipartisan bill, sponsored and cosponsored by 16 Senators and Assembly members, was approved 102-1 by the NJ Legislature last June, signed by Governor Phil Murphy in August, and is set to take effect on March 1, 2022.

The Safe Passing Law requires drivers to use “due caution” whenever they see vulnerable people on the road. The law states that:

  • Drivers must follow all current no-passing, no speeding laws AND move over a lane if there’s one to move into.
  • On a single-lane road, drivers must allow at least a 4-foot safety zone when they pass.
  • If 4 feet is not possible on a section of road, drivers must slow to 25mph and be prepared to stop until they can pass safely without endangering those sharing the road.

2021 was the deadliest year on New Jersey’s roads in 14 years for drivers, and the deadliest in 30 years for the most vulnerable road users, people walking, cycling, and rolling. The pandemic led to a surge of car and truck traffic on our roads along with increased speeding.  COVID also led to more people using the roads on foot or on wheels, by necessity or choice. ”Last year, 704 people were killed on New Jersey’s roads, the highest number since 2007. Driver and passenger fatalities are up 18%, while pedestrian fatalities are up 24%, and cyclist fatalities are up 28%.

The NJ Safe Passing Law is the strongest safe passing law in the country and with the increase in road fatalities and serious injuries across the state it comes at a critical time,” said Debra Kagan, Executive Director of the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition.  This law gives us the opportunity to build awareness and prioritize safety first, making our roads safer for everyone, especially vulnerable road users.”

“The New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, with our partners in advocacy throughout the state, will now launch a major public awareness campaign in May,” said Jim Hunt, Safe Passing Law Campaign Leader for the NJ Bike and Walk Coalition. “We believe our efforts will underscore the importance of all the state’s move over laws.”

 “This legislation was long overdue. Last year alone 246 of our vulnerable road users, pedestrians and bicyclists, died on NJ roadways,” said Sangeeta Badlani, Founder of Nikhil Badlani Foundation and Families for Safe Streets NJ. ”These are lives that we can save by raising awareness and enforcement of this law. This law prioritizes safety and is a step towards ending the heartbreak that so many families suffer from a loss of a loved one in a preventable crash.”

This law is aimed at protecting pedestrians and bicyclists from the most aggressive drivers,” said John Boyle Research Director for the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. “I’ve had close calls with drivers who were passing me carelessly or recklessly, sometimes intentionally without consequence.”

“New Jersey’s Safe Passing law, the most comprehensive in the nation, is the result of over a decade of hard work by advocates. We are grateful for the bill sponsors and Governor Murphy for acknowledging the importance of the protections provided by this law which go into effect March 1. We look forward to continuing to work with leaders in Trenton to make our streets safer for all road users in our state, especially those who are most vulnerable.” – Janna Chernetz, Deputy Director, Tri-State Transportation Campaign

For More Information:


Debra Kagan, Executive Director, New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition
(201) 452-4087,

Jim Hunt, Safe Passing Law Campaign Leader for the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition
(973) 714-5294,

Janna Chernetz, Deputy Director, Tri-State Transportation Campaign
 (609) 271-0778,

Sangeeta Badlani, Founder, Families for Safe Streets New Jersey
 (973) 979-68004;

John Boyle, The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia
609) 234-6596