NJ State Police: Pedestrian deaths spike in 2014
New Jersey saw a dramatic increase last year in the number of pedestrian fatalities, according to 2014 State Police figures.
Of the 563 deaths on New Jersey's roadways, 170 were pedestrians, representing a jump of more than 25 percent from the year prior.
The most pedestrian deaths occurred in Bergen County, according to the statistics, followed by Camden and Essex counties.
Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic, described the latest numbers as "alarming," but noted it's a shared responsibility among motorists and pedestrians to keep New Jersey's roads safe.
"Unfortunately, we've got distracted drivers; we've got distracted pedestrians," she said. "We've got impaired drivers and also impaired pedestrians."
New Jersey has a law in place that requires motorists to stop for pedestrians in a marked crosswalk. That doesn't guarantee pedestrians' safety, however, especially when they're not crossing the street at the right spot or time.
"Pedestrians will not win if they expect vehicles to stop at any given point for them," Noble said.
More than 50 percent of New Jersey's pedestrian fatalities were at least 50 years of age in 2014. Seven victims were under the age of 17.
The State Police also cited a spike in the number of fatal crashes compared to the previous year.