PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release
April 8, 2010

Contact
Michelle Ernst, Kate Slevin
Tri-State Transportation Campaign
646-729-6595, 212-268-7474

 

New Analysis Finds New Jersey Pedestrians at Risk

More than 1-in-4 traffic deaths in 2009 were pedestrians; TSTC warns against cuts to pedestrian programs

157 pedestrians were killed on New Jersey’s streets in 2009, an increase of 14.6 percent over 2008 levels, according to a Tri-State Transportation Campaign analysis of State Police data.

Even as the state has made progress in reducing overall traffic fatalities, pedestrian fatalities remain stubbornly stagnant, hovering at around 150 per year since the early 1990s.

The result is that pedestrian deaths now comprise nearly 27 percent of the state’s total traffic fatality count, up from around 21 percent for much of the previous two decades. Nationally, pedestrian fatalities account for about 11 percent of total traffic deaths.

“With more than 1-in-4 of the state’s traffic deaths people killed while walking down the block or crossing the street, it’s clear that New Jersey needs to make pedestrian safety a top priority,” said Kate Slevin, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

At the county level, the dangers to pedestrians are even more stark, particularly in the state’s urban counties. 55% of Hudson County’s traffic fatalities were pedestrians. Half of Essex County’s fatalities were killed while walking. Even in Bergen County, pedestrians comprised nearly half of total fatalities.

County

Pedestrian Fatalities

Total Traffic Fatalities

Pedestrian Fatalities as a Percent of Total

Atlantic

12

43

28%

Bergen

12

26

46%

Burlington

7

48

15%

Camden

9

42

21%

Cape May

1

8

13%

Cumberland

1

28

4%

Essex

21

42

50%

Gloucester

3

22

14%

Hudson

12

22

55%

Hunterdon

2

8

25%

Mercer

7

22

32%

Middlesex

18

48

38%

Monmouth

11

34

32%

Morris

3

18

17%

Ocean

15

63

24%

Passaic

5

26

19%

Salem

1

14

7%

Somerset

1

13

8%

Sussex

0

7

0%

Union

14

41

34%

Warren

2

9

22%

 

 

 

 

Total

157

584

27%

TSTC applauds NJ’s recent efforts to step up pedestrian safety, but cautions against cuts to pedestrian programs in the upcoming transportation capital plan. A new NJDOT “complete streets” policy and new laws that mandate stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks and stricter requirements for convicted drunk drivers will undoubtedly save lives, but sound capital investment in pedestrian projects must remain a priority if NJ is to reverse this deadly trend.

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The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is a non-profit organization working toward a more balanced, transit-friendly and equitable transportation system in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.