The Borough of Bernardsville and Bernardsville Police are holding a Street Smart NJ campaign in partnership with RideWise over the next few weeks. Street Smart NJ is a collaborative effort between public, private, and non-profit organizations to reduce pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes.
During the campaign, local police will enforce pedestrian laws and educate the community with the help of the Bernardsville business community, who will distribute safety information and display educational materials in their businesses and throughout town.
“Street Smart NJ helps make roads safer for everyone,” said Donna Allison, RideWise Executive Director. “When people feel safe, they are more likely to walk downtown, visiting local shops and restaurants.”
Pedestrian safety is nationwide concern, but it is particularly important in New Jersey, which the federal government has designated a focus state for its high rate of fatalities and injuries. Pedestrians comprised 29.6 percent (173 people) of the 584 people killed in crashes in New Jersey in 2020, nearly double the national average of 16.8 percent, according to the most recent data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). New Jersey ranks 20th in the nation in pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people in 2020. 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.
Businesses, organizations and individuals interested in helping to promote the Street Smart NJ message in Bernardsville should contact Sara Catherine Lichon, Communications and Outreach Manager for RideWise, at email@example.com. To learn more about the campaign, visit bestreetsmart.org.