Officials in Lakewood, in an effort to reduce accidents between vehicles and pedestrians, have decided to participate in a two-day educational blitz this week led by the state Department of Transportation, followed by a months-long safety campaign.
The campaign, called Street Smart NJ, is a “collaborative effort among public, private and non-profit organizations,” an announcement of the program issued Monday said. Representatives from the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority will be at various intersections in Lakewood on Wednesday, March 30 and Thursday, March 31 to distribute flyers and information about the Street Smart NJ safety campaign.
Additionally, the Lakewood police department with be working with local organizations to educate motorists and pedestrians for several weeks afterwards. Street Teams, groups of professionals and volunteers, will be out in Lakewood, distributing safety tips at busy intersections. During the campaign, motorists and pedestrians will see street signs, posters, tip cards and other educational materials throughout the community. Campaign participants and their partners will also be sending e-blasts to raise additional awareness about pedestrian safety.
New Jersey is a focus state on the part of the federal government’s campaign to promote pedestrian safety. In 2014, the last year for which statistics were available, 170 pedestrians died as a result of pedestrian-vehicle crashes, according to the most recent data available from the New Jersey State Police. From 2010 through 2014, 749 pedestrians were killed on New Jersey’s roads and more than 17,000 were injured. That translates into one death every 2.4 days and 11 injuries daily.
Street Smart NJ was previous employed in Long Beach Island during the summer months to try to reduce pedestrian-involved accidents.