Posted Saturday, August 18th, 2018
Pedestrian Safety Campaign Successfully Changes Behaviors on Roadway
Motorists do pay attention to road signage, at least evidenced by a recent Street Smart New Providence campaign that has led to safer behaviors in the Union County borough that borders Morris County.
Street Smart NJ is a statewide public awareness campaign that combines education, outreach and high-visibility law enforcement to change pedestrian and driver behaviors and improve road safety. It has run campaigns in Boonton, Morristown and neighboring Hackettstown in Warren County over the past few years.
The campaign ran in April, and was a collaborative effort among TransOptions, the New Providence Police Department, the Borough of New Providence, and local businesses and organizations.
Analysis of data produced from TransOptions’ Speed Sentry device showed a 12.3 percent increase in compliant speeds from drivers traveling in the area of study. This was one of many fundamentals of the pedestrian safety campaign.
As an education and enforcement campaign, Street Smart New Providence included 190 hours of pedestrian safety law enforcement by the New Providence Police Department as well as multiple educational outreach events coordinated by TransOptions.
The program was evaluated through pre- and post-campaign surveys, pre- and post-campaign intersection observations, and TransOptions’ Speed Sentry. The evaluations showed that the Street Smart campaign in New Providence resulted in an increase in the public’s understanding of New Jersey’s pedestrian safety laws.
It also resulted in a 14 percent increase in public awareness of the New Providence Police Department’s pedestrian safety law enforcement efforts, and a 22 percent increase in the community’s awareness of pedestrian safety-related advertising messages.
Street Smart’s “check your vital signs” slogan emphasizes safe travel roles and responsibilities to both pedestrians and motorists alike.
TransOptions, a non-profit transportation organization, led the Street Smart effort in New Providence, after successfully completing similar campaigns across northwestern New Jersey.
From 2014 to 2016, there were 13 pedestrian-related crashes in New Providence. Pedestrian safety is an ongoing challenge in New Jersey. In 2017, 187 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, 828 pedestrians were killed on New Jersey’s roads and more than 17,000 were injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That equates to one death every 2.4 days and 11 injuries daily.