More than a dozen southern New Jersey communities will be hosts to the fourth Pedestrian Decoy Program on August 14, 2009. The initiative aims to spread awareness of traffic laws by enforcing the rules of the road to help lower an increase in deaths on New Jersey roadways. According to an article, state and local authorities are concerned that the growing number of motorists turned pedestrians could negatively impact the already growing number of pedestrian deaths in New Jersey. The Pedestrian Decoy Program may force some motorists to consider the necessity of yielding to pedestrians regardless of whether or not pedestrians are following the rules of the road, particularly since violations occurring during the program could result in traffic citations of $100 or upward, and points being added to their license.
The director of New Jersey’s Division of Highway Traffic Safety said that the number of fatal car crashes involving pedestrians is “too high” and “unacceptable.” From the program’s inception in 2006, the number of fatal pedestrian auto crashes has significantly decreased. In 2006, 164 of the 771 fatal auto crashes in New Jersey involved pedestrians. However, the following year, only 150 of 774 fatal auto accidents resulted in pedestrian death. In 2008, both the number of deaths and the number of accidents decreased, with only 138 pedestrian deaths having occurred out of 590 total car crashes resulting in fatality. Sadly though, after posting the lowest level of New Jersey pedestrian deaths involving automobiles since the 1940s, the numbers started increasing in January of this year, and unfortunately haven’t ceased. Based on the report, as of August 12, 2009, there have been 103 New Jersey pedestrian accident deaths out of 344 auto accidents. At the same time in 2008, the total number of pedestrian deaths had only amounted to 79.
Auto accidents happen in a matter of seconds. A driver takes their eyes of the road for just a moment, and it is enough to cause serious damage and destruction. It is vital that drivers be more aware of traffic laws, especially those pertaining to pedestrian safety. The program isn’t about law enforcement simply entrapping drivers and issuing tickets, but about creating a greater sense of awareness pertaining to the safety of everyone on the road, pedestrians included.
As the pedestrian fatality statistics mentioned above illustrate, pedestrian accidents in New Jersey often result in wrongful death or, in less severe but still serious cases, catastrophic injury that must be dealt with for the remainder of the victim’s life. If you have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, the experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Lependorf & Silverstein may be able to help you receive compensation from the negligent driver that caused the accident. Our skilled attorneys can also help you receive compensation for medical bills, loss of wages, and other expenses associated with your injuries. If you’ve recently been injured, call Lependorf & Silverstein today for a free consultation.