Manville, NJ – Residents and visitors in the Borough of Manville may have noticed pedestrian safety messaging throughout the community in the past couple of weeks. These messages are part of a month-long Street Smart NJ pedestrian safety education campaign that started in Manville on May 1.
The campaign is a collaboration between RideWise, the Borough of Manville, and the Manville Police Department. Throughout the month of May, residents and visitors in Manville will see pedestrian safety messages in the form of social media posts, street signs and posters. Law enforcement officers are also interacting with pedestrians and motorists to educate them on pedestrian safety laws.
The Borough of Manville conducted their first Street Smart campaign in 2018, which saw an increase in awareness of pedestrian safety messages among residents; the number of respondents who reported seeing pedestrian safety messaging increased from 34 percent in a pre-campaign survey to 50 percent in a post-campaign survey. Since the campaign concluded in June 2018, four incidents between vehicles and pedestrians – one being fatal – have occurred, prompting the desire for a second campaign. “I’m fully in favor of another campaign given the pedestrian accidents that happened on our Main Street,” said Mayor Rich Onderko.
Street Smart New Jersey is coordinated by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and aims to change driver and pedestrian behavior through education and enforcement. According to the New Jersey State Police, there were 566 fatalities caused by crashes in 2018, with 177 being pedestrians, 278 being drivers, 95 being passengers and 16 being cyclists. Through the Street Smart campaign, pedestrians and motorists are urged to follow laws that increase safety conditions for both pedestrians and drivers, such as using crosswalks and stopping for pedestrians. Distracted driving and walking are also addressed through the campaign.
“Our officers are making sure that pedestrians and motorists are aware of and obeying the law,” said Police Chief Mark Peltack. “We’re reminding pedestrians to use crosswalks and wait for the walk, and drivers to stop for pedestrians, follow the speed limit, and not drive distracted.”
Freeholder Director Brian D. Levine, liaison to the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, said, “The county fully supports efforts like this to improve safety. This effort supports the county’s Complete Streets Policy and advances recommendations from a previous joint county/borough planning effort.”
Businesses, organizations and individuals interested in helping to promote the Street Smart NJ message in Manville should contact RideWise at (908) 704-1011. To learn more about the campaign, visit bestreetsmartnj.org.
RideWise Inc. is an independent non-profit organization that promotes efficient and sustainable travel options like public transit, ridesharing, biking and walking. The agency, based in Bridgewater, partners with businesses, municipalities, schools, communities and nonprofit agencies throughout Somerset County to address a variety of mobility issues. RideWise assists municipalities and police departments with conducting Street Smart campaigns by providing technical assistance, education and community outreach. Learn more at www.ridewise.org.
The NJTPA is the federally authorized Metropolitan Planning Organization for 6.7 million people in the 13-county northern New Jersey region. Each year, the NJTPA oversees more than $2 billion in transportation improvement projects and provides a forum for interagency cooperation and public input. It also sponsors and conducts studies, assists county planning agencies and monitors compliance with national air quality goals. Learn more at www.njtpa.org.