Chief Jerry Rotella announced today that the Flemington Police Department, will be conducting a Street Smart NJ pedestrian safety education campaign aimed at reducing pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes in Flemington. Street Smart NJ is a collaborative effort between public, private and non-profit organizations. The statewide Street Smart NJ campaign is managed by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA).
Flemington police will be coordinating with goHunterdon, the local nonprofit transportation management association, to educate motorists and pedestrians on their roles and responsibilities to improve pedestrian safety.
The Street Smart campaign focuses on encouraging five key behaviors:
- Obey Speed Limits
- Stop for Pedestrians
- Use Crosswalks
- Wait for the Walk
- Heads Up, Phones Down
From November 8 through November 30, signs, posters, tip cards and other safety messaging materials will be distributed throughout the community. E-blasts, social media, and community presentations will be used to raise additional awareness about pedestrian safety.
New Jersey ranked 17th in the nation in pedestrian fatalities in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 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.
“Street Smart NJ is an important initiative that is making New Jersey streets safer for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists,” said Hunterdon County Freeholder Matt Holt, who serves as First Vice Chair of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority Board of Trustees. “Street Smart not only saves lives, it improves the overall quality of life for residents. This is a great program and I encourage all of our towns to participate.”
This is the third year in a row Flemington is conducting a Street Smart NJ campaign. Five other campaigns have been conducted in Hunterdon County, including Frenchtown (2015), Califon (2018), Town of Clinton (2016), High Bridge (2018), and Lambertville (2017). More than 80 communities across the state have participated in Street Smart NJ since the program’s inception in 2013.
There have been 12 pedestrian crashes in Flemington in the past three years, including one fatality.
Chief Rotella said pedestrian safety is a priority for the Police Department in this one-square-mile borough.
“Residents of all ages walk for recreation, and often, as a primary means of transportation. Children walk to Reading-Fleming Intermediate School and Hunterdon Central Regional High School,” he said. “The Street Smart campaign provides us with a great opportunity to educate both pedestrians and motorists on how to be safe.”
Police will be out educating people about safe driving and walking. They will be using positive reinforcement and outreach to raise awareness about pedestrian safety.
“We’ll be interacting with motorists to make sure they know and obey the law by stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks,” said Corporal Brian McNally. “We’ll also be reminding pedestrians to use crosswalks and cross at intersections, rather than midblock.”
Officers will also address speeding and distracted driving and walking, which often contribute to crashes involving pedestrians. Pedestrian safety is an ongoing challenge in New Jersey. In 2017, 184 pedestrians died as a result of pedestrian-vehicle crashes, according to the most recent data available from the New Jersey State Police. From 2013 through 2017, 825 pedestrians were killed on New Jersey’s roads (NJSP). Businesses, organizations and individuals interested in helping to promote the Street Smart NJ message in Flemington may contact Ryan Fisher, goHunterdon, 908-788-5553 or firstname.lastname@example.org.