Take a moment to consider the inherent imbalance of the average crosswalk anywhere throughout the state. It is there, between two thin lines painted onto the asphalt, where New Jersey pedestrians are expected to entrust the safety of their lives and limbs to anonymous motorists. This happens thousands of times each day with nothing more than a stop sign or traffic light to separate pedestrians from cars trucks and SUVs that weigh several tons on average.
On Dec. 28, 2014, police in Brooklyn, New York, say that they responded to a call reporting of a pedestrian who had been struck by a car. Police soon arrived at the scene near the intersection of Bay Parkway and Bath Avenue and reportedly found a 27-year-old pedestrian suffering from head trauma.
Perhaps it's our boardwalks and proximity to the seashore, but for whatever reason, New Jersey experiences a disproportionate amount of accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians than the national average. In an effort to counter these often fatal incidents, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety has unveiled a comprehensive strategy focused on education, enforcement and engineering.
On Nov. 5, a pedestrian suffered minor injuries while crossing the street in Princeton, New Jersey. According to police, the 58-year-old pedestrian was attempting to cross Vandeventer Avenue while using the crosswalk when the accident occurred.
Many New Jersey motorists remember the days when you only had to wait for pedestrian to clear your lane before you can proceed through a crosswalk. All of that changed beginning April 2010 and now, New Jersey Statute 39:4-36 requires that motorists remain completely stopped until a pedestrian has finished crossing the street.
We've all done it. Jaywalking is probably the only crime any of us will ever commit without feeling even a hint of remorse. That is part of the problem according to a spokesperson for the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority. The organization is unrolling a new initiative called "Street Smart NJ," which combines a public awareness campaign that uses a grassroots community outreach approach. It also relies on the participation of local law enforcement. The spokesperson says that for pedestrians, the main changes they can make to improve safety is to use crosswalks and wait for the walk signal to change before they start crossing the street.
Car and pedestrian accidents are among some of the most serious of all motor vehicle accidents and often result in those pedestrians impacted suffering debilitating or fatal injuries. In 1975, a reported 7,516 pedestrians were killed in U.S. traffic-related accidents. Since that year, the number of annual pedestrian deaths steadily decreased until 2009, when pedestrian fatalities began to increase.