Posted Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

Motorists AND Pedestrians in Morristown Urged to Put Down Cell Phones While on Public Streets

The town of Morristown, which is center for Morris County government and the state courts, kicked off its third Street Smart Campaign this week, targeting pedestrian safety on the town’s busy streets during the month of May.

Street Smart NJ targets speed, distraction and safety awareness for motorists and pedestrians. It is a public awareness campaign that combines educational outreach and high-visibility law enforcement to change behaviors as they relate to pedestrian safety.

Kickoff event for the start of the Morristown Street Smart campaign, shows several officials holding up Street Smart signs

Kickoff event for the start of the Morristown Street Smart campaign

Officials from Morristown, the Morristown Police Department, nonprofit TransOptions, and Morris County representatives and other advocates launched the campaign this afternoon (May 6).

“Striking a balance between pedestrians walking through town, and effectively moving vehicle traffic alongside them, creates one of the biggest challenges for us at the Morristown Bureau of Police,” said Morristown Police Sgt. Brian LaBarre. “With the Street Smart campaign, we can devote separate enforcement details to pedestrian issues while educating the community as to the proper way to navigate as a pedestrian or a driver- a win for everyone.”

“We know this program will once again have a positive impact on pedestrian safety and we look forward to seeing positive behavior changes from pedestrians and motorists while traveling through Morristown,” said Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty.

TransOptions, a non-profit transportation organization, is leading the Street Smart effort in Morristown, after successfully completing similar campaigns across northwestern New Jersey.

“We hope that with each and every Street Smart campaign we get one step closer to zero fatalities on our roadways,” said TransOptions President Dan Callas.

Between 2015 and 2017 there were 74 crashes involving pedestrians in Morristown. In 2017, a pedestrian was struck an average of every 15 days in Morristown. Thirty-nine percent of pedestrian-involved crashes were attributed to drivers failing to yield to pedestrians. Also, 34 percent of pedestrians struck were in a marked crosswalk at the time of the crash.

Street Smart Pedestrian Safety Campaign Launched in County Seat

LAWS FOR MOTORISTS AROUND PEDESTRIANS

  • Drivers must stop and stay stopped to allow people to cross at marked crosswalks and intersections, including when turning.
  • Whenever any vehicle is stopped for someone crossing the road, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not pass the stopped vehicle.
  • A person crossing or starting to cross an intersection on a walk or green signal, but who is still within the crosswalk when the signal changes, has the right of way until they finish crossing.
  • A driver shall exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.
  • In the event of a collision between a vehicle and a person crossing at an intersection, there shall be a permissive inference that the driver did not exercise due care.

Violations of the laws carry a $200 fine, two motor vehicle points and up to 15 days of community service. If the violation results in serious bodily injury to a person crossing, drivers can face fines of more than $500, up to 25 days in jail and license suspension of up to six months.

LAWS FOR PEDESTRIANS

  • No pedestrian shall leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield or stop.
  • Where traffic is not controlled and directed by a police officer or a traffic signal, people should cross in a marked crosswalk, or, in the absence of a crosswalk at right angles to the roadway.
  • No person shall cross a roadway against the stop or red signal at a crosswalk whether marked or unmarked, unless otherwise specifically directed by a police officer or traffic control device.
  • Every person upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles.

Violation of the above laws carries a $54 fine.

For more information on Street Smart, visit TransOptions.org/street-smart, or call TransOptions at (973) 267-7600.