In response to the alarming increase in traffic deaths last year, safety experts have asked New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy to adopt a statewide “Vision Zero” campaign to protect pedestrians and cyclists. Last year, New Jersey experienced a thirteen percent increase in pedestrian deaths compared to the previous year.
New Jersey currently uses a program called “Toward Zero Deaths” aimed at reducing all traffic fatalities, but advocates say the program is not enough. Vision Zero is currently used in New York City, where Mayor Bill de Blasio credits the program for a 32 percent drop in pedestrian fatalities last year.
Rise in Pedestrian and Cyclist Fatalities in New Jersey
In 2016, 166 pedestrians were fatally injured on New Jersey roads. In 2017, the number rose to 183. Gary Poedubicky, acting director of New Jersey’s Division of Highway Traffic Safety, believes the increase in traffic fatalities among drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists is due in part to:
- Distracted drivers and pedestrians
- Increase in miles traveled
- More cars on the road
- Reduced gas prices
Distracted driving, whether it involves a driver fiddling with the radio, turning to talk to a passenger, or looking down at a cell phone – is proven to be as dangerous as drunk driving. Walkers, runners, and cyclists are no match for an out-of-control vehicle and when they cross paths – a tragedy is bound to happen.
Understanding Vision Zero
The Vision Zero Action Plan is a pedestrian safety initiative launched by Mayor Bill de Blasio back in 2013 with the goal of reducing traffic deaths on city streets. Since the program began New York City, pedestrian fatalities have declined steadily every year. In 2017, the city had a thirty-two percent decrease in pedestrian fatalities – the large reduction under Vision Zero to date. The goal of Vision Zero is to completely eliminate pedestrian deaths with a plan that involves:
- Better safety education – especially for students
- Improved school zone safety
- Increased traffic safety enforcement using speed cameras and fines
- Lower speed limits
- Safer street designs including redesigned corridors and intersections
Governor Murphy received the Vision Zero recommendation from his transportation transition team and is currently considering that program and several other traffic safety initiatives as well.
South Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. Work to Hold Distracted Drivers Responsible
If you or a loved one was injured in a traffic accident, the compassionate and skilled personal injury lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. are here to help. Our South Jersey car accident lawyers will obtain all the documentation and witness testimony you need to prove your case – so you recover the highest compensation available to support you and your family during your medical treatment and recovery. To schedule a free case review in one of our Cherry Hill, Philadelphia, or King of Prussia locations, call 856-354-9444 or submit an online inquiry today.