For immediate release:
New Jersey’s Streets and Sidewalks More Deadly in 2005
Recent statistics from the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety show that automobile and pedestrian fatalities are on the rise in New Jersey as more people were killed in automobile related accidents in 2005 than in each of the previous three years. 758 people died in traffic crashes in New Jersey in 2005, up nearly 5 percent from 2004. Pedestrian fatalities also increased, to 156 in 2005 from 150 the previous year.
“With more than 750 people dying on our roads and sidewalks, traffic safety should not be a fringe issue,” said Damien Newton, NJ Coordinator for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “People are dying because we’re not doing enough.”
But traffic safety doesn’t seem to be the new administration’s radar screen. Several months ago, the Campaign wrote to Governor Corzine urging him to make traffic safety a high priority for his administration, and calling for a zero tolerance policy towards traffic law breakers. The Corzine administration has not yet responded to our letter.
In March, Governor Corzine complained about speed traps during a radio call-in show, saying, “These speed trap situations that are designed for revenues just aren't right and I know the public doesn't find it right and has legitimate gripes about it.”
However, statistics don’t bear out the idea that speeding is not a problem in New Jersey or that it can’t be partially controlled by speed traps. More than 60% of all traffic fatalities in New Jersey are caused, at least in part, by speeding and reckless driving.
Corzine also appointed notorious speeder Zulima Farber as his Attorney General. During her confirmation hearing, legislators questioned whether someone frequently breaking traffic laws should be Attorney General.
New Jersey’s pedestrian fatalities have also remained high, averaging about 150 per year. They have remained consistent a decade after former Governor Christine Whitman promised to halve deaths on the state’s roadways.
Fact sheets with data broken down by county are available at the Campaign’s website at www.tstc.org.
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The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is an alliance of public interest, transit advocacy, planning and environmental organizations working to reverse deepening automobile dependence and sprawl development in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut metropolitan region.