MONTCLAIR, NJ - Over the past five years, the Montclair Police Department has reported 205 pedestrians injured by motor vehicles, including five who died as a result of such collisions. As a result, the “Drive with Care in Montclair” campaign was created.
The township officials believe that a modest decrease in vehicle speed can mean a dramatic increase in survival rates in pedestrian-vehicle crashes. The campaign was sparked by an idea of Second Ward Councilor Robin Schlager and is focused on making streets safer, so all users of the road feel safe whether they are traveling by foot, bike, car or other means.
The campaign is funded by Partners for Health Foundation and administered through the Township Council's advisory committee on Pedestrian Safety. The Committee will hold a strategic planning meeting to solicit public feedback on Wednesday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Fire HQ, 1 Pine St.
Much of the threat to people walking and cycling safely comes from motorists’ speed. The faster a vehicle is traveling, the more likely crash injuries to a person on foot or bicycle will be serious, if not fatal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration* when people walking or cycling are hit by a car:
- • at 20 mph, the risk of death is 5 percent, and most injuries are minor
- • at 30 mph, the risk of death is 45 percent, and most injuries are serious
- • at 40 mph, 85 percent of pedestrians are killed.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Literature Review on Vehicle Travel Speeds and Pedestrian Injuries", DOT HS 809 021, October 1999 http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/research/pub/hs809012.html
The campaign's message is delivered through assorted media, including fliers with safety tips that were distributed to parents on school pick-up lines and during Back to School nights. In April, a Pedestrian Safety Forum was held in the Council Chambers and broadcast on TV34.
A Township Pedestrian Safety Committee has been formed to develop strategies to reduce pedestrian and cyclist crashes. It is comprised of many partners working on various facets of traffic safety, including NJ Safe Routes to School, Partners for Health Foundation, Montclair Police Traffic Bureau, Montclair Engineering Bureau and Bike&Walk Montclair. For more information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org