Do you know what to do if a school bus stops in front of you?
How about how to safely pass a large truck, bicycle, or motorcycle?
In New Jersey, certain traffic rules tell you how to share the road with others.
And today, we’re going to look into that.
Here, we’ll show you how to share the road with:
- Bicycles and mopeds
- Scooters and skateboards
- Large trucks
- School buses
- Snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles
- Horseback riders and horse-drawn vehicles
So let’s begin your guide to the New Jersey traffic rules!
How to Share the Road with Pedestrians
The State of New Jersey prohibits certain actions when sharing the road with pedestrians.
Let’s look at this.
- Vehicles should stop for pedestrians crossing, especially if they cross at a crosswalk.
- You are not allowed to pass a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk. Chances are that the vehicle is stopped because pedestrians are crossing. If you pass, you might not see the people crossing.
- If you are entering a school zone, watch out for pedestrians crossing or going to cross, especially be alert to children.
- If you are near parks, be alert for children crossing or following a ball on the road. Always slow down in these areas to allow yourself time to react.
- You are not allowed to block a crosswalk when the traffic light is red or when you’re by a stop sign. You need to stop right before the line.
How to Share the Road with Bicycles and Mopeds
Bicycles and mopeds are challenging to drive alongside simply because these vehicles are unpredictable, slow, and vulnerable.
So if you find yourself in this situation, always follow these traffic rules:
- Always be alert for mopeds and bicycles. If you see them by the side of the road, give them enough space.
- Never speed past these vehicles. Riders of bicycles and mopeds may get surprised and lose focus or balance.
- Maintain a safe distance between you and the bicycle or moped. If you need to pass, allow some space before doing so.
- Some bicyclists will use hand gestures to tell you if they will turn or move right or left. Be alert for these hand signals and allow them to pass.
How to Share the Road with Motorized Scooters and Skateboards
Motorized scooters and skateboards are becoming more common. However, in New Jersey, these modes of transportation are still not allowed to be ridden on any public road or sidewalk.
While these vehicles should only occupy their designated roads, you should still be alert in case any of these ends up on a public roadway.
- Similar to handling bicyclists and mopeds, always be alert if scooters or skateboarders are riding nearby.
- Always give them space to maneuver. Do not share a lane with them since it’s easy to hit them (or vice versa) if they lose their balance.
How to Share the Road with Motorcycles
If you’re sharing the road with a motorcyclist, here are things you need to do:
- Slow down when you’re passing a slippery or wet road. Motorcycles are very susceptible to these road conditions.
- Give a full lane to the motorcyclist. Remember, they should be treated the same way as any four-wheeled vehicle.
- If you need to pass, do not occupy the same lane for passing. Give space and move to the other available lane before overtaking.
- Never drive too close to a motorcycle. You never know when they might swerve to avoid hitting potholes or the like.
How to Share the Road with Large Trucks
Driving alongside large trucks, such as tractor-trailers, buses, and tanks, is dangerous because the drivers have blind spots.
So here is how to keep safe when sharing the road with large trucks:
- A large vehicle’s blind spots are the back and side (beside the front seats). If you want to be seen, stay at the right/left side but slightly at the back.
- Avoid driving too close to a large vehicle since they take longer to brake.
- If you need to pass, give a safe distance and flash your turn signals before passing.
- Never cut a large truck’s lane. Make sure the full front of the truck is seen on your rearview mirror before switching to the lane.
- If a truck is behind you, speed up to allow more space between you and the truck. However, always follow the speed limits.
- If you’re approaching an intersection and the truck signals to turn, do not block the driveway or squeeze onto the intersection. Allow them to pass while not staying too close beside them.
How to Share the Road with School Buses
If you see a school bus ahead, know that there are certain things required by law that you should do:
- If a school bus turns on its flashing red lights or shows the stop sign, you must stop behind it and not pass. Vehicles coming from the opposite direction are also required to stop unless there is an island separating the lanes.
- Only proceed when a school bus turns off the lights or returns the stop sign and starts moving again.
- If a school bus stops directly in front of a school to load or unload children, you may pass but keep your speed to only 10 mph.
How to Share the Road with Trains
If you are passing train tracks, always remember these traffic rules:
- If you see railroad warning signs ahead, be alert and listen if there is a train approaching.
- If a train is approaching, never try to cross before it reaches you. Make a full stop and wait for the train to pass or for the gates to be lifted.
- Even if the train seems far ahead, do not attempt to cross. Trains are fast and take time to stop fully. Be patient and wait for them to pass first.
- If your vehicle stalls or gets stuck on the tracks, leave your vehicle right away. Move away from it and call 911 for assistance.
- Cross tracks only in designated areas where you can cross.
How to Share the Road with Snowmobiles and All-Terrain Vehicles
In New Jersey, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and dirt bikes are not allowed to be driven on roadways. However, these vehicles are allowed to cross.
If you see one crossing, always allow them to pass first.
How to Share the Road with Horseback Riders and Horse-Drawn Vehicles
Even if they’re not motor-operated, horseback riders and horse-drawn vehicles follow the same laws for vehicles.
If you encounter these unusual types of “vehicles”, do the following:
- Avoid honking at them as this may startle the animals.
- According to law, you are required to reduce your speed to 25 mph when you are approaching any horse-drawn vehicle.
- Always proceed with caution and keep a safe distance in case the animals do unpredictable actions.
And those were the New Jersey traffic rules.
Now that you know how to share the road, it’s a good idea to follow these rules closely. You will not only avoid a collision, but you can also avoid an annoying ticket.
Always choose to be a safe and responsible driver!