Frenchtown Launches “Street Smart” Pedestrian Safety Campaign
Frenchtown, NJ- Mayor Warren Cooper and Police Chief Al Kurylka announced today that the Borough of Frenchtown is participating in a new pedestrian safety education campaign to reduce pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes in New Jersey.
Initially introduced in 2013 by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), the Street Smart NJ campaign is a collaborative regional effort between public, private and non-profit organizations to educate pedestrians and motorists about making safety their top priority whether walking or driving. The local collaboration, “Frenchtown Street Smart” includes the Borough, local volunteers, and HART Commuter Information Services, the local non-profit dedicated to sustainable transportation.
The campaign will focus on reinforcing four key behaviors to improve safety. Motorists will be reminded to obey posted speed limits and stop for pedestrians in crosswalks (as required by New Jersey law). Pedestrians will be reminded to use crosswalks. Both motorists and pedestrians will encouraged to avoid distractions, such as talking or texting on a cell phone.
Twenty three (23) percent of all traffic fatalities in New Jersey involve pedestrians, which is double the national average. Between 2009 and 2012, 565 pedestrians were killed and more than 17,000 injured statewide. That translates to one death every 2.5 days and 11 injuries daily. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has designated New Jersey a “focus” state for pedestrian safety and is providing funding for the campaign.
“Everyone has a role to play in pedestrian safety,” says Mayor Warren Cooper. “Frenchtown’s participation in this program is based on our interest in keeping Frenchtown a safe, walkable community,” he adds. “Approximately 4,000 vehicles travel the Uhlerstown-Frenchtown bridge daily,” says Chief Al Kurylka. “That is a significant volume of traffic traveling through the heart of our downtown,” he notes. “Keeping pedestrians safe is a top priority and we welcome a campaign like this to raise awareness of both motorists and pedestrians.”
The Street Smart Frenchtown awareness campaign will include posters, displays, and information cards distributed throughout town to reinforce the four key behaviors noted above. Students from Frenchtown Elementary School have created lawn signs to promote the messaging and various forms of social media will be employed to spread the word.
Law enforcement officials will also monitor key locations for the safety of all roadway users. “We’ll be interacting with motorists to make sure they know and obey the law and stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk,” said Chief Al Kurylka. “We’ll also be reminding pedestrians to use crosswalk or cross at intersections and not jaywalk.” Officers will also address speeding and distracted driving and walking, which often contribute to pedestrian-related crashes.
Businesses, organizations and individuals interested in helping to promote the Frenchtown Street Smart message in Frenchtown should contact Liz Usmiani, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 908-788-5553.
Street Smart NJ is coordinated by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, the Metropolitan Planning Organization serving 13-counties in Northern New Jersey, and funded by the Federal Highway Administration and the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety. The initiative is also supported by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and numerous county, municipal, business, non-profit, health care, and education partners.