“Street Smart NJ” targets speed, distractedness and safety awareness for motorists and pedestrians

The head of the South Orange Police Department Traffic Bureau, Lt. Michael Corrigan, announced that South Orange has launched a Street Smart NJ pedestrian safety education campaign aimed at reducing pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes in New Jersey.

The Street Smart NJ campaign is a collaborative effort between public, private and non-profit organizations. SOPD is responding with the awareness campaign coupled with increased enforcement. “We’ll be interacting with motorists to make sure they know and obey the law and stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk,” said Public Relations Officer, Sgt. Adrian Acevedo. “We’ll also be reminding pedestrians to use crosswalks, cross at intersections, and not jaywalk.” Officers will also address speeding and distracted driving and walking, which often contribute to crashes involving pedestrians.

Sign Up for E-News

“Winter brings less daylight hours and that means that pedestrians are more vulnerable at this time of year, especially when wearing dark clothes, so we started with a focus on pedestrian safety.” said Lt Corrigan “You will see Be Street Smart posters and information around town and in social media and you’ll also see our officers addressing pedestrian safety laws for the protection of everyone.” Adding, “Everyone can increase pedestrian safety by remembering these basic rules”,

  • See and be seen. Wear bright/light colored or reflective clothing at night.
  • Do not use a phone while walking.
  • Use pedestrian buttons and cross on the “Walk” signal.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing – show your intent.

The Street Smart NJ campaign comes at a significant time. New Jersey is 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.

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.

Everyone can positively contribute to this campaign by following these simple pedestrian rules and by sharing #BeStreetSmartNJ social media messages with our friends and neighbors. For more information follow the South Orange Police Department on Facebook (SOPDNJ) and Twitter (@SOPolice) and the Street Smart NJ campaign on Facebook (StreetSmartNJ) and Twitter (@njstreetsmart).

Questions? Contact Lt. Corrigan at mcorrigan@southorange.org.