Is it illegal to walk along the side of the road?

I was stopped by an officer and screamed at for walking along the side of the road and he told me to "get on the sidewalk where you belong!" hahaha am i a dog? is he serious? then he proceeded to tell me hes going to write me a ticket!!

pumpkinheart37
Mar '11


Wow, That's crazy. I know many times when I used to walk I wouldn't use the sidewalk. Especially wouldn't use the sidewalk when I walked by Centenary College that is just asking to hurt yourself.

Nosila Nosila Message Nosila
Mar '11

Didnt two people just get hit by cars because they werent using the sidewalks? Maybe he was protecting you.

Just Asking Just Asking Message Just Asking
Mar '11

what's wrong with walking on the sidewalk?
Cars have the right of way in the road, people have the right of way on the sidewalk. You are just asking for trouble if there is a sidewalk and you don't use it.
I guess it's UNCOOL to walk where you belong.

doglovers doglovers Message doglovers
Mar '11

I dont think "COOL" or "UNCOOL" has anything to do with it doglovers. I would say though it all depends on where you are. By CC as nosila said some of the sidewalks in that neighborhood are downright dangerous in spots. If I was exercising or running I would be doing it in the road there. BUT if it were like on a busy side street (Washington St) or busy highway (rt. 46) I wouldnt think of it. In my neighborhood many neighbors walk every day together as a group for exercise and they walk on the street as it is more convenient.

I dont think its unreasonable to do it in the above mentioned. BUT what I find more questionable is the way he asked you. Did he really say those exact words? Did it have a tone to it? I find that MOST officers would suggest that "this isnt a safe way to walk", then give you a better suggestion rather than bark "Im going to write you a ticket". I would be surprised to learn this was from HPD. When I walk in our neighborhood many times the officer pulled up beside us and said "Good evening".

Christine Christine Message Christine
Mar '11

I find the biggest problem isn't with people walking on a quiet street or road, but rather
their disinclination to move over to a single file while cars pass. I have had to follow behind such walkers at a crawl until they were good and ready to move to a single file
so cars could go by safely and without crossing over into the left lane. to do so...

Spring Fever
Mar '11

Re: Is it illegal to walk along the side of the road?

Why would you want to walk on the street when sidewalks are available? You are upset with the police? Might he have prevented you from getting hit? were there cars on the sidewalk, is that why you were in the street<

I'm confused.

THE MAN THE MAN Message THE MAN
Mar '11

The Man. Good question... I agree...If there were not sidewalks in the area..then you have to walk in the road..but when there are..that is the law...Use them!

joyful joyful Message joyful
Mar '11

In all fairness to pumpkinheart I have been forced to walk in the street for various reasons. Unsafe broken sidewalks, garbage pails left on the sidewalk, ice, mud,snow, bicycles, toys, children riding their bikes, overgrown bushes and tree limbs,people walking their pets and I didn't begrudge anyone for all of the above.

midnightgardener1 midnightgardener1 Message midnightgardener1
Mar '11

As many others have pointed out, in many areas, the roadway is a much more uniform surface on which to walk than the sidewalk. I also know of no law that prohibits pedestrians from walking within the roadway, as long as they aren't obstructing traffic.

iPhone-imal iPhone-imal Message iPhone-imal
Mar '11

If there were sidewalks, you were jaywalking:

Jaywalking
It refers to a person specifically a pedestrian who walks on the street or crosses the street without following any traffic rules like not walking on corners or footpaths, not crossing roads on cross walks or ignoring the signal lights. If for such negligence by the said jay walker, any accidents happen by the vehicle, the vehicle owner can use the evidence of the jaywalking in his/her defence.

maja maja Message maja
Mar '11

I am so sick of everyone bashing cops they are their for your safety ! Walking in the road especially when there is a sidewalk is not safe !!!!! Hopefully next time he does give you a jaywalking ticket !!!!

shoebie shoebie Message shoebie
Mar '11

I do not think it is negligent to be neighborly and not report broken sidewalks, blocked sidewalks and give children the right of way to play in peace. Are we in a total police state where common courtesies warrant a ticket? Come on people we are in need of peace and forgiveness in these very scary times. Yes darting between parked vehicles and crossing the street is dangerous I agree, but one has to take in all the circumstances involved before berating someone who walked in the street.

midnightgardener1 midnightgardener1 Message midnightgardener1
Mar '11

maja, the use of the word "footpath" and the spelling of the word "defence" leads me to believe that the source you are quoting isn't American in origin. I don't know that your citation is specifically applicable to NJ law, but I don't know for sure that it's not, either.

shoebie, you believe that the existence of a sidewalk makes walking in the road "especially" dangerous? Can you explain what makes you think that?

It's never a good idea to obstruct traffic or walk in the middle of the road. However, as someone who has walked for exercise at a brisk pace, I know that sometimes it is more comfortable and safer to walk within the roadway of a neighborhood street, rather on the sidewalk, especially in developments that were built in a time where they thought it was a good idea to plant trees in the four foot strip between the sidewalk and curb. The sidewalk is sometimes so heaved and irregular that you are liable to trip and break your nose or twist or sprain your ankle, especially as you become fatigued. The roadway is more conducive to a regular stride.

iPhone-imal iPhone-imal Message iPhone-imal
Mar '11

Good point iPhone-imal. I didn't Google nj laws.

Or it could be a sucky lawyer who can't spell but has cheap rates:

http://www.legal-explanations.com/definitions/jaywalking.htm

maja maja Message maja
Mar '11

ianimal if you have a place to walk where cars dont go but choose to walk in the direct path where cars go how is that not especially dangerous & well just stupid

shoebie shoebie Message shoebie
Mar '11

Jaywalkers are fine those bikers in spandex on Waterloo Rd. have to go ; )

BABYBULL24 BABYBULL24 Message BABYBULL24
Mar '11

haha Babybull I'm glad you enjoy our choice of attire
We love riding on waterloo rd, thank you.

BiketoWork
Mar '11

The first question = What road / where / ???

If you are walking to avoid tripping on poor sidewalks that are unsafe due to uneven pour or lifted by tree root growth or frost heave...then if you bypassed that area momentarily..you will still be wrong, but should report the safety hazard to your town so that they would notify whomever is liable for safe walkway's.

Remember...if, and I say if a person is struck in a roadway by a motor vehicle, it is the Law that the operator of the vehicle is liable for his / her / it / whatever..proper and safe operation of that vehicle at all times.

Just because a person is walking alongside a roadway such as i.e. Mitchel Road / Kenwood section of H- Town...it doesn't give that person a right to walk the street; anymore than it doesn't give a Motorcycle vejicle the right to ride on the sidewalk.

A warning by a law officer would be the first step of enforcement.

If you (using "you" as plural) should be struck while doing so...You should be considered a idiot. If you WERE a dog...you would be excused.

Wake up!... While you are still alive after your complete disrespect for common sense Law! ....Period...

embryodad
Mar '11

Shoebie, the degree of danger of walking within any given stretch of roadway is dependent upon the volume of traffic on that stretch of road, the posted speed limit and the existing sight distance. Whether or not there is a four foot wide lane of concrete on the other side of the curb is irrelevant to the relative safety of the activity. How is one safer on a bicycle than on foot on a particular stretch of roadway?

iPhone-imal iPhone-imal Message iPhone-imal
Mar '11

Let me see, there is Seber rd. Park-Na. Field of Dreams-Na Stevens State Park-Na. Schooleys Mountain park-Na. just a few I know of...

Maybe the thrill of avoiding cars is not there. There should be a common sense law, if you do not pass you will not be able to spawn.

THE MAN THE MAN Message THE MAN
Mar '11

So where is pumpkinheart? I think certain questions should be answered. LOL!

Christine Christine Message Christine
Mar '11

I don't walk for fitness, but anyone who walks in the college section is taking their life into their hands. Between the college kids and HS drivers, it can be VERY dangerous at times. If you want to walk for fitness find a nice place that doesn't involve traffic!

trekster3 trekster3 Message trekster3
Mar '11

Living in college view section I can tell you there are parts of the sidewalk that are not safe to walk on. They are uneven in a lot of places.

Mommyof3 Mommyof3 Message Mommyof3
Mar '11

iPhone-imal I thought for a second that your last post was going to be an algebra problem. I almost got a headache lol!

maja maja Message maja
Mar '11

I hate when someone posts and then never returns to follow up . Well I guess it's been less than a day so gotta give em the benefit of the doubt, right?

ianimal - while i see where you're going with your analysis of the safety of walking on the road versus not, I think the existence of a sidewalk provides a lot of safety "bumpers" and it is obvious that it would be more safe to walk on a sidewalk rather than the road almost all the time. The fact that the sidewalk is raised provides that bumper between walkers and drivers that is needed and useful in the event of impending danger. you might not hear a car with a texting driver coming up behind you while on the road but you're likely to hear that car smash into the sidewalk (or tree) before it hits you ...

I think an interesting question is that all of these unsafe sidewalks are being reported on this thread, is the town gonna take care of fixing them? especially in the college/collegeview area

ComputerSharp ComputerSharp Message ComputerSharp
Mar '11

I may be wrong, but is not the homeowner responsible for maintaining the sidewalk in front of their house?

THE MAN THE MAN Message THE MAN
Mar '11

While some sidewalks are not safe to walk on that is true, do people walk with their eyes closed? If you live in town then you must be aware of the dangers especially where there is bluestone instead of sidewalks at all. It is the owner of the property where the sidewalks are who hold responsibility for maintaining them. Just as it is the homeowner's responsibility to remove snow from them, not the town.

So the question is what street did this happen on because that makes a difference too regarding traffic. There are some neighborhoods in this town that don't even have sidewalks. If the person was walking on a busy street that did indeed have sidewalks then I can see why it would be more of a hazard to walk in the road then some upheaved sidewalks, with your eyes open of course.

Now if they can just get those pesky people that think it is a good idea to cross on Main St. where there is no crosswalk, yet they decide it is somehow okay to just walk into the traffic!!!

youngnfresh youngnfresh Message youngnfresh
Mar '11

answer to my own question. Town of Hackettstown-Documents-chapter 12-artical 4-12-30.
Owner responsible

THE MAN THE MAN Message THE MAN
Mar '11

The Police Officer didn't have to scream at the person. Maybemher should have asked them why they weren't walking on the side walk, some of the older sidewalks in town are quite dangerous. I am not bashing policeman. But from what was posted the officer sounded like they he or she had an attitude.

taking it all in
Mar '11

I think til pumpkinheart responds to our questions we are "BEATING ANOTHER DEADHORSE".................jumping to conslusions etc.

Christine Christine Message Christine
Mar '11

Time to start laying off these bozo cops. In a place like Hackettstown you don't even need cops.

Monty Monty Message Monty
Mar '11

@Monty, your comment must be in jest or you've gone off your meds!

ERM ERM Message ERM
Mar '11

ERM - Don't feed the trolls.


Monty. If you think we need to layoff these BOZO cops please be sure to call some one elsenex time you need help !!!! See who will put their lives on the line and come to your aide.

taking it all in
Mar '11

*else next time you*

taking it all in
Mar '11

Monty what are you thinking? Hackettstown is a muti-cultural growing area. We need our policemen, and you should think of taking up residence somewhere else if you feel this way, because the disrepect you have shown on this thread for our town and police officers I am sure will not earn you any friends here.

midnightgardener1 midnightgardener1 Message midnightgardener1
Mar '11

i LOVE when i drive to work at 5am and joggers decide to take up the whole road. Mind you it is dark and they are wearing all black...very safe in my opinion. I bet the officer didnt even scream at this person they most likely just took it out of context i mean he is looking out for the person walking. Why walk in the road to begin with if there is a sidewalk?

Shannon P. Shannon P. Message Shannon P.
Mar '11

I was walking on my street at 4am to the gas station to get cigarettes, I was using the street because there are no sidewalks on my street. I was aplroached by a cop and he eventually searched me and took me to jail for possesion of 1/2 of a lortab. Is it a violation of my rights for him to of searched me for doing nothing wrong? there were no side walks!?


Did you agree to the search or more importantly, did you say no?

Stop and frisk is allowed by police officers, but it is generally limited to the outer clothing. Police can stop anyone they deem suspicious, but they can't search you for the hell of it, unless you let them

bemo12
Sep '11

No but it is illegal for you to carry a half of a loritab without a prescription or in its original bottle!

Christine Christine Message Christine
Sep '11

Du- Are you kidding? You were walking down the street at 4:00AM in the morning to get cigarettes! I'm not a cop but I think I would have stopped and searched you! LOL. Lets face it, that is a bit unusual in this area. The officer deemed you "suspicious" and investigated. As it turns out you were busted for a pain killer. Hopefully you have a prescription and the bottle at home.....

Greg Greg Message Greg
Sep '11

ummmm...correct me if im wrong but wasnt a gas station in town recently robbed at 4am? so i think with that incident you were pretty much asking for an interrogation and pat down..that was his reason for probable cause...IMO

H-town Mama H-town Mama Message H-town Mama
Sep '11

Reasonable suspicion for a search requires more than just walking around town @4am. An officer has to believe you are involved in or about to commit a crime. Should we impose a curfew because only criminals and people up to no good are out at that time?


Greg - Why figure it's "in this area"? How many times on the forum have people not read the post above them let alone where the forum is from or what the title of the thread is. All it takes is a quick google and here you are. Who knows what laws might have been broken down in Louisiana. Sure, there's national rights to be free of illegal search and seizure, but some other issues vary from state to state.


True the poster could have been simply posing that question in general. I assumed that as it is Hackettstown Life, du was speaking of a local street. You are right there are many posts that are not specifically related to Hackettstown. I don't know why as Hackettstown is the center of the universe! LOL.
I was thinking in terms of walking to get something at 4:00AM in a urban setting like NYC or someplace like that. That would be a bit less unusual as opposed to the rural setting here in our area I would think.

Imagine if he/she was walking at 4:00AM in Arizona...!

Greg Greg Message Greg
Sep '11

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