Ensuring the safety of pedestrians has been a problem for New Jersey authorities over the years. When the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities are compared to that of the rest of the country, the New Jersey figures are disproportionately higher. This problem has led to a statewide program to change dangerous roads into safer roads for pedestrians.
The program consists of three components — education, enforcement and engineering. As pedestrian safety is a two-way street, the main focus of the education component is to educate both pedestrians and motorists concerning pedestrian safety. The majority of pedestrian injuries and fatalities fall within three groups — elderly people, children and non-English speaking people; therefore, the education program mainly aims at educating these groups.
While the engineering part of the program aims at clearly marked crosswalks and ensuring sufficient signage, the enforcement part focuses on enforcing laws ensuring pedestrian safety. As part of the program, pedestrian crossings considered as high risk in some communities are patrolled by police. Pedestrians and motorists who do not obey the laws are warned and may even receive a summons.
Even though the program has led to a decrease in the number of pedestrian accidents, thereby making the dangerous roads of New Jersey a little safer, pedestrians are still injured or killed. Persons seriously injured in such an accident may choose to file a personal injury claim. A wrongful death claim may be filed by the family of a fatally injured victim. In such claims, victims (or the surviving family of a deceased victim) of auto-pedestrian accidents may be awarded financial damages upon proper proof of negligence. Should the claims be successful, the victims and their families may find that any money awarded could provide them with some relief as they struggle through an understandably difficult time.
Source: nj.gov, “Pedestrian safety“, Dec. 24, 2014
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