Drivers and pedestrians both get safety lessons in NJ campaign
Street Smart NJ, an awareness campaign designed to curb the high number of pedestrian fatalities on New Jersey's streets and roads, has kicked off another summer safety campaign.
They rolled out their summer 2019 campaign in Long Beach on Wednesday. The program started in 2013.
Will Yarzab, with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, is also the Street Smart NJ coordinator. He says State Police reported 70 pedestrian deaths in New Jersey at this point in the year in 2018. So far in 2019, there have been 74.
"We had to come up with a program to change the behaviors of both the drivers and the pedestrians to lower the numbers of these deaths and serious injury crashes involving pedestrians," Yarzab said.
The statistics get even more disturbing, according to Yarzab.
"We're twice the national average for serious injury and fatal pedestrian crashes. One third in New Jersey of all fatal car crashes are involving pedestrians and we're over represented in that area. And that's why Street Smart NJ came about."
The campaign focuses on pedestrian and driver awareness, keyed on shore towns, reminding drivers to slow down and pedestrians to use crosswalks.
Yarzab says they want to stimulate the conversation about "how to be safe when you're walking, how to be safe when you're driving ."
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.