– Law enforcement agencies in Southern
New Jersey will be participating in a month-long
public awareness and education initiative
designed to educate New Jersey motorists about
safely sharing the road with pedestrians,
Division of Highway Traffic Safety Director
Pam Fischer announced today.
as “Cops in Crosswalks,” the initiative
will be run by 17 police agencies in Atlantic,
Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland,
and Gloucester Counties, August 17 through
September 13, 2009. Undercover police officers,
acting as pedestrians, are placed at crosswalks
throughout a community. Motorists who fail
to yield to the undercover officers crossing
the street are stopped and either warned or
ticketed by uniformed officers a short distance
through federal grants of $4,000 provided
to each participating police agency by the
Division of Highway Traffic Safety, the effort
was piloted in northern New Jersey in 2008,
and has been expanded to towns throughout
the state during the past year. Participating
police agencies include: in Atlantic
County, Northfield, Somers Point,
Longport, Pleasantville, Ventnor City, Linwood,
and the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office;
in Burlington County, Burlington
City; in Camden County, Cherry
Hill, Collingswood, and Pennsauken; in Cumberland
County, Vineland; in Cape May
County, North Wildwood, the Cape May County
Sheriff’s Office, Ocean City, and Sea
Isle City; and in Gloucester
County, Rowan University.
noted that each year in New Jersey, approximately
150 pedestrians are killed in traffic-related
crashes. However, through the first seven
months of 2009, the number has been increasing
significantly, prompting officials to further
heighten the public’s awareness of the
importance of sharing responsibility for safety
on the roads.
the number of pedestrians who have lost their
lives in our state this year is up nearly
40 percent. As of August 8th, 102 pedestrians
have lost their lives in traffic-related crashes,
compared to 78 during the same time period
last year,” Fischer said. “To
ensure the safety of all roadway users, motorists
and pedestrians must remain alert at all times,
and take personal responsibility for their
to a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind
motorist poll, conducted annually in partnership
with the Division, motorists know they must
yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk, yet
many fail to do so. Motorists violating this
law face a $100 fine, plus court costs and
fees, and two points on their driving record.
know that many drivers are distracted and
often in a hurry to get to their destination,”
Fischer added. “But failing to pay attention
and reduce your speed when approaching a crosswalk
can be deadly. When you’re behind the
wheel and nearing an intersection, slow down
and be on the look-out for both children and
adults who may unexpectedly appear in your
that pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility,
Fischer noted that pedestrians must also take
due care and cross streets lawfully and carefully.
important to remember that once you park and
exit your vehicle, you become a pedestrian,
too,” Director Fischer added. “By
adhering to a few simple rules, pedestrians
can ensure they stay safe and protected both
in and out of the crosswalk.”
Division offers the following safety tips
Wear bright-colored, reflectorized clothing,
especially at night.
Walk on sidewalks or paths and always cross
at the corner, within marked crosswalks.
If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic
and make eye contact with motorists.
Never cross mid-block (unless within a marked
crosswalk), between parked cars or by climbing
over median barriers.
Look left, then right and left again before
crossing, and always be on the look-out
for turning vehicles.
Continue to look for vehicles while crossing,
even when in marked crosswalks.
Learn the proper use of “walk/don’t
walk” signals and obey them.
Walk and cross with others, when possible.
Do not attempt to cross while talking or
texting on a cell phone.
Try not to walk at night or in bad weather,
such as rain, snow or ice.
If you drink alcohol, have someone escort
you to your front door.