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The Commissioner's Report


Governor Corzine kicks off pedestrian safety projects

Governor Jon S. Corzine announced a five-year $74 million initiative to improve pedestrian safety throughout New Jersey through engineering, education and enforcement. The multi-faceted plan involves programs that will be carried out by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), the Attorney General and the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC).

The Governor stressed that the initiative is essential to improve driving and walking in this state. There are 150 pedestrian deaths a year in New Jersey; 5,000 pedestrian deaths nationwide. Statistics also show that for each pedestrian fatality, two or more are severely injured.

As these injuries and fatalities occur primarily in urban or dense suburban areas, a key part of the program is to establish a pedestrian safe corridor program based on accident history and rates.

NJDOT will recommend engineering improvements at specific sites. The Governor designated the first Pedestrian Safe Corridor in Newark, between the intersection of Market and Broad Streets that continues into Ferry Street. It ends at the intersection of Monroe and Ferry Streets.

pedestrian crossing photo

Another initiative that is primarily in urban or densely populated areas is the Safe Streets to Transit Program, which will help persons using mass transit to safely walk to the train or bus station.

While it was common 30 years ago for children to walk or bicycle to school, today fewer than 15 percent of children do so, arriving to school by bus or automobile. The Safe Routes to School program emphasizes walking and bicycling to school to relieve traffic congestion and to boost the health of school children. With NJDOT at the lead of this program, local governments can receive help to create safer walkways, bikeways and street crossings near schools.

NJDOT will also overcome barriers to walking by improved pedestrian planning. Reviewing the access permit process provides an important opportunity to create new pedestrian routes and to address projected street and highway crossing behavior.

NJDOT, MVC, the Attorney General and the Department of Education will develop a driver education curriculum that focuses on the rights and responsibilities of drivers and pedestrians. MVC will also include pedestrian information in the Driver Manual and incorporate questions into the driver tests.

The Attorney General and the Division of Highway Traffic Safety will issue grants to state and local law enforcement agencies to address the issues of pedestrian safety. The Attorney General will work with the courts and County prosecutors to convict pedestrian safety law violators and to enhance prosecution of failure to yield laws.

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  Department of Transportation
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  Last Updated:  December 1, 2006