HIGHLANDS, NJ - Chief Joseph Blewett announced on May 3, 2017 that Highlands will be conducting a Street Smart NJ pedestrian safety education campaign aimed at reducing pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes in New Jersey from May 8, 2017 – June 5, 2017.
The Street Smart NJ campaign is a collaborative effort between public, private and non-profit organizations. Local police will be enforcing pedestrian laws in Highlands and working with several partners – including local Businesses to educate motorists and pedestrians throughout the campaign.
The campaign comes at a significant time. New Jersey was ranked 15th in the nation in pedestrian fatalities in 2015, according to a recent report from The Governor’s Highway Safety Association. The federal government has designated New Jersey a “focus” state – placing an extra emphasis on aiding the state in combating its higher-than-average pedestrian fatality rate and providing funding for this campaign.
During the duration of the campaign you will see street signs, posters, tip cards and other educational materials throughout the community. Our campaign and its partners will also be sending e-blasts in an effort to raise additional awareness about our pedestrian safety efforts. Street Teams – groups of professionals and volunteers – will be out in Highlands distributing safety tips at busy intersections.
The Highlands Police will be interacting with motorists to make sure they know and obey the law and stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk. We will also be reminding pedestrians to use crosswalks and to cross at intersections and not jaywalk.
Officers will also address speeding and distracted driving and walking, which often contribute to crashes involving pedestrians.
Pedestrian safety is an ongoing challenge in New Jersey. In 2015, 170 pedestrians died as a result of pedestrian-vehicle crashes, according to the most recent data available from the New Jersey State Police. From 2011 through 2015, 765 pedestrians were killed on New Jersey’s roads and more than 17,000 were injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That translates into one death every 2.4 days and 11 injuries daily.
The statewide Street Smart NJ campaign is managed by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) and began in 2013. The campaign urges pedestrians and motorists to “Check Your Vital Signs” to improve safety on the road. Motorists are urged to obey the speed limit and stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.
Pedestrians are told to use crosswalks and wait for the walk signal where applicable. In 2015 a fifth message, “Heads Up, Phone Down,” was added to the campaign to combat distracted driving and walking.
Businesses, organizations and individuals interested in helping to promote the Street Smart NJ message in Highlands, should contact Captain Robert Burton at (732) 872-1158 or email@example.com. To learn more about the campaign, visit bestreetsmartnj.org. The campaign is also on Facebook (StreetSmartNJ) and Twitter (@njstreetsmart).