TEWKSBURY, NJ - Police Chief Tim Barlow announced that Tewksbury Township will be conducting a Street Smart NJ pedestrian safety education campaign aimed at reducing pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes in New Jersey this month.

Street Smart NJ is a collaborative effort between public, private and non-profit organizations. During the campaign, local police will be enforcing pedestrian safety laws in the Oldwick section of the township and will work with goHunterdon, a local non-profit organization dedicated to safe and sustainable transportation, to educate people who are driving and walking. Special emphasis will be on the enforcement of speed limits and educating drivers on the dangers of distracted driving.

Tewksbury Township will kick-off its Street Smart NJ campaign on March 15 and continue into April.

“Due to the COVID19 pandemic, more people have been working from home and families have been participating in more activities together,” Barlow said.  “We have seen an increase in pedestrian traffic throughout the Township, and even though there has been a decrease in motor vehicle traffic we have not seen a decrease in speeding and distracted driving. The safety of all residents and visitors to Tewksbury Township is of utmost importance. The historic village of Oldwick with its restaurants, shops, parks, and the library is a draw for many people.  As the main road through the township, County Route 517 is heavily traveled.  We have teamed up with goHunterdon to educate both pedestrians and motorists to make them aware of their roles in ensuring everyone’s safety.” 

Pedestrian safety is concern nationwide, but it is particularly important in New Jersey, which the federal government has designated a pedestrian safety focus state for its high rate of fatalities and injuries. Pedestrians comprised 30 percent (173 people) of the 564 people killed in crashes in New Jersey in 2018, nearly double the national average of 16 percent, according to the most recent data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). New Jersey ranks 18th in the nation in pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people in 2018. On average, one pedestrian is killed every two days in New Jersey and 12 are injured daily.

Street Smart NJ is one of many initiatives in New Jersey working to help the state reach its goal of zero pedestrian fatalities. The campaign reminds people that everyone has a role to play in making our streets safer. Drivers need to obey speed limits and stop for people crossing; people walking need to use crosswalks (marked and unmarked) and cross with the signals; and everyone needs to avoid distractions.

During the campaign educational materials will be on display throughout the community, through local businesses, and via social media.

The statewide Street Smart NJ campaign is managed by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) and began in 2013.

The Tewksbury Township Street Smart NJ campaign is the 11th campaign conducted in Hunterdon County. Prior campaigns include Califon Borough, Town of Clinton, Flemington Borough, Frenchtown Borough, High Bridge Borough, and the City of Lambertville.

Businesses, organizations and individuals interested in helping to promote the Street Smart NJ message in Tewksbury Township should contact Ryan Fisher, goHunterdon Safety Programs Coordinator, rfisher@gohunterdon.org.