The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority has kicked off a summer effort on Long Beach Island centered on pedestrian safety.

Authority spokesman David Behrend says they are trying to educate pedestrians and drivers in New Jersey.

The Federal Highway Administration named New Jersey a pedestrian safety-focused state.

Pedestrians accounted for nearly 3 in 10 vehicle accidents in New Jersey between 2011 and 2015, nearly double the national rate. During that period, 765 pedestrians were killed in the state and more than 22,000 were injured.

Street Smart is a pedestrian safety education campaign aimed at improving the behavior and decision-making of drivers and pedestrians on our streets, so that we can reduce crashes and prevent injuries and fatalities.

"We have five basic messages, two are aimed specifically at pedestrians: Wait for the walk, as in the flashing walk signal, and use the crosswalk — avoid crossing mid-block or where there is not a cross walk, cross in the designated areas.

"The two messages aimed at motorists specifically are obey the speed limit and stop for pedestrians.

"The fifth message applies to everybody and it is 'heads up, phones down.'"

Behrend said Street Smart speaks to the fact that shore walkers and drivers sometimes let their attention take a vacation.

"Hopefully, if they do get educated on these behaviors and these issues, they bring that back home with them," he said.

Police also will be doing positive enforcement: "If they see a driver waiting to turn right and letting that pedestrian go through the crosswalk, where they see the pedestrian waiting for the walk signal, they may go over and say, 'Hey! Great job, you are doing the right thing."

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Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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