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New Jersey - Pedestrian Face Increased Peril

Published on: October 1, 2006 10:35 AM
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New Jersey - In the state, 748 people died in traffic accidents last year, up 3.5 percent from the 723 who died in 2004, and Ocean County had 41 recorded motor vehicle fatalities, according to the New Jersey State Police.  Officials say many of these deaths easily could have been avoided. Across the state, many pedestrian deaths are caused by ignorance of signs and traffic lights, or recklessness, such as hopping the divider of a four-lane highway rather than crossing at a crosswalk, said Roberto Rodriguez, director of the New Jersey Division of Highway and Traffic Safety.  To combat this, Gov. Corzine announced the creation of a $74 million, five-year initiative to improve pedestrian safety across the state, most of this money will not be used for public works construction projects. Rather, the money will be doled out in the form of various grants to local police departments to help pay for pedestrian safety and “enforcement” - the cost of added patrols and police overtime.  Why Ocean county’s roads are such a challenge to pedestrian safety? State and local officials cited a variety of reasons. Some are unique to the communities in which very active highways are located.  For example, in Lakewood, some pedestrian deaths and injuries have been the result of motorists accidentally striking members of the traditionally dark-clad Orthodox Jewish community at night. Police have the same problem with men and women in business attire trying to dart across the highway at night — for a motorist, it can be very difficult to spot a person crossing a road who is wearing dark clothing, they say.  


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1

 Oct 03, 2006 at 11:01 AM Anonymous Says:

Rt 9 (aka Madison Ave) in Lakewood is very dangerous at night! Pedestrians dart right out in front of you, so I don't think wearing reflectors will help. I drive very slowly and still have to slam on my brakes to avoid careless pedestrians. I think we all need to exercise a little common sense. It cracks me up when someone jay walks right in front of your car and holds his hand up as if that is going to protect him. Cars drive way too fast on that road as well. If everyone just obeyed the laws I think it would help. Drivers need to slow down and stop at the red lights. Pedestrians need to stop jay walking and use the traffic lights to cross the street, especially at night. Maybe instead of reflectors we should all buy the shoes with the lights that blink as you walk!
Anon in Lakewood

2

 Oct 03, 2006 at 01:15 AM Anonymous Says:

I am very careful when I drive in the dark streets of Lakewood at night and I still find it difficult to see the darkly clothed people crossing the streets. Yes, it should be a LAW that one must wear a reflector after dark.

3

 Oct 01, 2006 at 02:55 PM mark levin Says:

Aside for commom sense..... yall gotta wear reflectors and use your brains before they end up splattered all over the pavement.

4

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