PENNSAUKEN, N.J. - It seems to be a struggle as old as the automobile itself – the fight over the road. Car versus bike. But, now in New Jersey, getting too close to a cyclist could cost a whole lot of money.
"I think it’s long overdue. Safety is paramount. People come first," stated Javier Ramos.
Many giving a thumbs up to a new "Move Over" law in the Garden State aimed at protecting bicyclists, walkers, runners, scooters and skaters who are using the road. Drivers now need to move over one lane or allow four feet of space between the car and the person they’re passing. If it’s not safe to move over, they need to slow down to 25 miles an hour.
"It’s a good thing. It’s a lot of people out there. They’re driving. They’re just in a rush. Slow down. Pedestrians always have the right of way," Ron Williams remarked.
"It’s really sort of getting at the people who tend to be more aggressive drivers. I’ve certainly been harassed, whether walking or on a bicycle. Motorist passing too close or too fast," commented Research Director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia John Boyle.
Boyle says the law is intended to raise awareness and change behavior. He says it’s just a piece of the greater safety puzzle.
"What we really need is safer roads. We need protected bike lanes. We need sidewalks. We need crosswalks for pedestrians," Boyle added.
Folks who don’t move over face a $100 fine and if they injure a bicyclist or pedestrian in the process, the fine could climb to $500 and two points on their license.
"There’s recourse for people who break the law now, so people will think about it. They will be more conscientious because it’s hurting their pocket," Ramos said.