The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) and the New Jersey Devils today announced they are partnering to spread the word about NJTPA’s Street Smart NJ program. Street Smart NJ is a statewide collaborative effort between public, private and non-profit organizations to raise awareness of and change the behaviors that contribute to pedestrian-vehicle crashes.
Through the partnership, the Devils will promote the Street Smart NJ initiative on Devils social media platforms and in emails to their vast database of Devils game attendees and season ticket holders, at public events such as the one held today in Elmwood Park and via a new video featuring Devils alumni and three-time Stanley Cup-Winning Champion, Ken Daneyko and the team’s mascot, NJ.
“I want to thank the NJ Devils for working with us to raise awareness about pedestrian safety across New Jersey,” said Union County Freeholder Angel Estrada, Chair of the NJTPA Board of Trustees. “Partnerships like this allow us to reach even more people with our safety messages. Working together to change behaviors, we can help New Jersey work toward zero pedestrian fatalities.”
“As active members in the greater Newark community, we’re proud to partner with NJTPA and do our part to encourage our fans and visitors to be mindful about pedestrian safety in our city,” said Jim Leonard, Senior Vice President of Government Relations for the Prudential Center and New Jersey Devils. “With New Jersey Devils games, over 175 live events, family shows and concerts, the opening of Mulberry Commons and more, it’s easy to be distracted during pedestrian excursions around town or on your way from Penn Station to Prudential Center. We are joining NJTPA and Street Smart NJ in encouraging our patrons to be mindful and walk with care.”
Today’s event featured NJ and EZ Ride Transportation Management Association staff — long-time Street Smart partners — speaking with students about the importance of being Street Smart. Over 600,000 people attended Devils’ games last year, events which cause significant increases in pedestrian and vehicle traffic around Prudential Center throughout the season. Such increases further stress the need for New Jerseyans to be Street Smart, whether they are driving or walking.
Pedestrian safety is a 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 29 percent (183 people) of the 624 people killed in crashes in New Jersey in 2017, 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 13th in the nation in pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people. 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.
The Street Smart NJ campaign is managed by the NJTPA and began in 2013.
Municipal officials, businesses, organizations and individuals interested in helping to promote the Street Smart NJ message should contact Will Yarzab, Street Smart NJ project manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (973) 639-8400.