In October 2021, RideWise was invited to conduct a Street Smart NJ pedestrian safety campaign on Hamilton Street by the Franklin Township Police Department. The campaign results show pedestrian safety improved overall, with more pedestrians using the crosswalk after the campaign had concluded. The full report for this campaign is now available on RideWise’s website.
The campaign focused on three target locations in Franklin Township: Hamilton Street (County Route 514) and Norma Avenue, Hamilton Street and Dewald Avenue, and Hamilton Street and Highland Avenue. Overall, observed pedestrian behavior improved significantly at all target locations after the campaign, with the majority of pedestrians using the crosswalk after the campaign:
- 58 percent of pedestrians post-campaign versus 12 percent pre-campaign at target location 1;
- 66 percent of pedestrians post-campaign versus 14 percent pre-campaign at target location 2; and
- 64 percent of pedestrians post-campaign versus 59 percent pre-campaign at target location 3.
There was also a 102 percent increase in awareness of police efforts to enforce drivers stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk.
Street Smart NJ is a collaborative effort between public, private and non-profit organizations that aims to improve pedestrian safety by educating people who are driving and walking. 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.
Pedestrian safety is concern nationwide, but it is particularly important in New Jersey, which the federal government has designated a pedestrian safety focus state for its high rate of fatalities and injuries. Pedestrians comprised 30 percent (173 people) of the 564 people killed in crashes in New Jersey in 2018, nearly double the national average of 16 percent, according to the most recent data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). New Jersey ranks 18th in the nation in pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people in 2018. On average, one pedestrian is killed every two days in New Jersey and 12 are injured daily.