The following is from the Township of South Orange.
Village President Sheena Collum and the Board of Trustees announced today that South Orange has joined the Street Smart NJ program, a pedestrian safety education campaign to promote traffic safety and reduce pedestrian- motor vehicle crashes.
“Pedestrian Safety continues to be a priority for the Village and joining the Street Smart NJ program is a great way for the municipality to take advantage of numerous marketing resources to better educate motorists and pedestrians,” said Collum. “Additionally, the South Orange Police Department, under the leadership of Police Chief Jim Chelel and Lieutenant Michael Corrigan from our Traffic Bureau, continues to enforce pedestrian safety laws and run targeted details. In the past two years, the department has issued over 700 Failure to Stop for Pedestrians in Crosswalks summonses, which leads all 17 municipalities throughout Essex County.”
The statewide Street Smart NJ campaign is managed by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) and combines the efforts of public, private and non-profit organizations. Launched in 2013 by the NJTPA, the campaign urges pedestrians and motorists to Check Your Vital Signs to improve safety on the road. Vital signs for motorists are Obey posted speed limits and Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks (as required by New Jersey law). Pedestrian vital signs are Use crosswalks and Wait for the walk signal (at intersections where provided).
“Crossing guards and officers will be interacting with motorists to make sure they know and obey the law and stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk,” said Lieutenant Michael Corrigan. “We’ll also be reminding pedestrians to use crosswalks and cross at intersections and not jaywalk.” Officers will also address speeding and distracted driving and walking, which often contribute to crashes involving pedestrians.
Pedestrian safety is an ongoing challenge in New Jersey. Last year, 169 pedestrians died as a result of pedestrian-vehicle crashes. Between 2011 and 2014, 591 pedestrians were killed on New Jersey’s roads, and more than 17,000 were injured, according to the New Jersey State Police. That translates to one death every 2.5 days and 11 injuries daily.