Government

Morristown Finishes Second  Street Smart Campaign, Working Towards Zero Fatalities

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Morristown, NJ  After the success of the 2016 Street Smart pedestrian safety campaign in Morristown, NJ, TransOptions, the Town of Morristown, the Morristown Police Department, the Morristown Partnership, and numerous stakeholders, continued their efforts in 2017 to make pedestrian safety a priority in the community. Following the 2016 campaign, a second Street Smart effort was launched in Morristown in spring 2017 to revisit the community’s focus on safe walking and driving. Following the roughly month-long campaign that combined education and enforcement techniques, new data shows that the public awareness effort continues to pay off.
 
Results from the Year II survey showed that there was a 21% increase in awareness of the Street Smart campaign in Morristown, and more respondents correctly identified that they can receive a ticket for crossing against the traffic signal when walking.  The Year II campaign also successfully maintained the decrease in drivers using cellphones, after 16% of respondents from the pre-campaign survey in Year I admitted to driving distracted.  The first Street Smart campaign was successful in reducing self-reported cellphone use by 7% which was maintained in the Year II results of self-reported behaviors.
 
According to data from TransOptions’ speed tracking device, drivers traveling at or under the posted speed limit on Morristown’s Speedwell Avenue increased by 6% from Year I to Year II.  In addition results from the Year II Intersection observations showed that the campaign led to another reduction in mid-block crossing around the intersection of Morris Street and King Street, and intersection observations showed a reduction in pedestrian cellphone use while crossing the street.
 
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“We’re very happy with what we’re seeing,” said Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty.  “I thank everyone involved in the campaign and most importantly the residents of Morristown for embracing safe behaviors whether walking or driving through town.”
 
In total the Morristown Police Department gave out 409 tickets and warnings to drivers and pedestrians during the campaign. Morristown experienced 51 pedestrian-related crashes from January 2013 to December 2015, including one fatal crash.

In addition to enforcement, Street Smart messaging was displayed on street signs, posters, bar coasters, and tip cards throughout the community during the duration of the campaign to increase awareness of the safety messages. TransOptions also utilized SnapChat as a new outreach tool. A custom geofilterwas launched during Morristown’s popular St. Patrick’s Day Parade reminding people to put their phones down while walking and driving. Street Smart Morristown’s custom goefilter was used 300 times and viewed by 15,700 SnapChat users. For educational outreach efforts, TransOptions conducted in-class presentations at Morristown High School to the students enrolled in driver’s education, which focused on how new drivers can be ready to drive safely around pedestrians.
 
“After completing another Street Smart campaign, it’s clear that Street Smart is an important and effective program that helps reduce dangerous behaviors and makes our roads safer for all users. We’re pleased to see the positive impact of these efforts in Morristown and they are an important step in making zero deaths on New Jersey streets a reality,” said John F. Ciaffone, TransOptions’ president.


 
The Street Smart NJ program was first piloted in 2013 and 2014 by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) in five municipalities throughout the state. The campaign has significantly grown with approximately 50 municipalities participating around the state of New Jersey.  NJTPA and the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety funded the efforts in Morristown.
 
The program comes as a response to New Jersey being designated a pedestrian “focus” state by the Federal Highway Administration. In 2015, New Jersey ranked 15th in the nation in pedestrian fatalities, according to a recent report from The Governor’s Highway Safety Association.
 
For more information on Street Smart and to view both the spring 2016 and spring 2017 final reports for Street Smart Morristown, visit TransOptions.org/street-smart, or call TransOptions at (973) 267-7600. TransOptions is the transportation management association for northwest New Jersey. A non-profit organization, TransOptions delivers programs and services to improve the accessibility, mobility, environment and overall quality of life of all residents and commuters.

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