The pedestrian fatality rate in New Jersey continues to rise, and officials have taken notice.

Flickr User Dave in the triad

Last year, 163 people were killed in accidents after they were stuck by a vehicle, up from 143 the previous year.

In an effort to better protect pedestrians, law enforcement officials across the Garden State are beefing up police patrols to make sure drivers stop at cross-walks when people are using them, but one lawmaker believes the problem must be addressed in a more comprehensive way.

New Jersey State Senator Diane Allen is sponsoring legislation that would require all cross-walks to be uniform.

"Right now you'll note that cross-walks are painted in different ways, and some are just two white lines - you don't even know it's a cross-walk - so we need to make sure across the state our cross-walks are all painted exactly the same so that everybody knows that is a cross-walk," she says.

Allen is also working on a bill that calls for special laser lights to be added at cross-walks along busy roadways where pedestrians push a button to activate warning lights when they cross the street.

"We need to make sure those lights are very special," she says. "The lights blink with lasers to let people know this is a red light and you darn-well better stop…These lasers just shoot out and tell you - stop, stop, stop, stop."

She points out in many parts of New Jersey many motorists are speeding and it seems very few people are actually concentrating on driving, because they're distracted by all kinds of other things.

"It's really not a surprise that we have so many pedestrian deaths - we need people to focus on what they are doing - the message is - start following the speed limit, start focusing on driving."