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Street Smart Campaign Aims to Promote Pedestrian Safety
The term “street smart” has a couple of connotations. In this case, New Jersey’s Street Smart campaign emphasizes a focus on pedestrians. After all, those on foot or on bicycles are unfortunately prime candidates for accidents. It’s important that safety is always first.
The Street Smart program was started in 2013. It was piloted with the North Jersey Transportation Authority and targeted Newark, Woodbridge, Hackettstown and Jersey City. All of these cities have a number of pedestrians hitting the streets.
What’s the Purpose of the Street Smart Program?
Everyone has some basic knowledge of what is expected of them when they are walking or using their bicycles. Is this really true? Unfortunately, many really don’t understand enough about their responsibilities. That’s where the Street Smart campaign comes in. It’s best summed up as follows:
- Education: Are pedestrians really aware that they should cross at crosswalks? Our favorite is the pedestrians who do not realize that they need to cross when the walking signal is illuminated at traffic signals. So many figure they can enter the intersection when the traffic light is green. Quite the contrary. They need to wait until the green walking signal has changed. Far too many accidents happen when pedestrians ignore the light. Those on bikes need to be aware that they are under an obligation to follow traffic signals with the same diligence as those in cars. They should learn appropriate hand signals and travel in the direction of traffic.
- Enforcement: Although a jaywalking ticket may seem ridiculous to some, it should be a deterrent to cross in the middle. Many fatal pedestrian accidents occur because a motorist was taken by surprise when someone darted across the street. Pedestrians aren’t the only ones getting tickets related to the interaction between automobiles and walkers. Police carefully monitor crosswalks. The moment a pedestrian enters the crosswalk, it is imperative that all motor vehicles stop. Remember. Pedestrians have the right of way in New Jersey.
- Evaluation: The Street Smart program meets with pedestrians, law enforcement officials and motorists to determine the best way to approach the issues with pedestrian traffic. How bad is the problem with pedestrian accidents? Pretty alarming. According to state statistics, there were 170 fatalities related to pedestrian accidents in 2014. That’s 31% of the motor vehicle fatalities in that same year! Unfortunately, New Jersey seems to have a higher than usual rate of these types of accidents. Again, safety needs to be a priority.
Pedestrian accidents can represent serious emotional and physical harm. If you or your loved one has been involved in this type of accident, please contact us. At the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo, we have many years of experience with these types of cases. We are happy to provide you with legal advice applicable to your matter.