HomeCherry Hill NewsCherry Hill Police place emphasis on pedestrian safety

Cherry Hill Police place emphasis on pedestrian safety

This past summer and continuing into the autumn months, law enforcement officers from Cherry Hill began participating in a pedestrian safety enforcement and education program funded by a grant from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety which is designed to increase awareness about safely sharing the road. Officers who locate a pedestrian crossing the roadway improperly will provide education about pedestrian safety and proper crossing of a roadway. The offender will be issued a written warning and must visit www.sjtsa.org within 15 days from the offense to watch a brief video addressing bicycle, pedestrian and motorcycle safety as well as distracted driving. They will then answer a short quiz on the topics. If the video and quiz are not completed within 15 days following the violation, a ticket will be issued and sent to the offender for the original offense.

On April 1, 2010, a New Jersey law was changed in which motorists no longer yield to pedestrians in a marked crosswalk, but instead completely stop. Failure to observe the law may subject a motorist up to two points, a $200 fine, 15 days community service and insurance surcharges.

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As part of the police department’s education efforts during this grant period, they will conduct several pedestrian decoy operations throughout the township, where a plain-clothes police officer crosses the roadway within a marked crosswalk. Another nearby police officer will observe any vehicles that do not come to a complete stop for the officer in the crosswalk. Those offending vehicles will then be stopped by a uniformed officer waiting in a nearby parking lot. The officer will speak with the motorist about pedestrian safety and follow the same written warning guidelines as discussed earlier.

New Jersey ranks as one of the worst states in the nation for pedestrian safety. Nationally, the average for pedestrian collisions in 2011 was 14 percent, which has been increasing in recent years. However, in New Jersey in 2013, there was a total of 544 motor vehicle involved fatalities and of that amount, 132 were pedestrian fatalities which was 24 percent of the total motor vehicle fatalities in New Jersey, a number that is almost double the national average from 2011. Safety is a shared responsibility and the Cherry Hill Police Department is hoping to raise awareness in order to raise the safety of both pedestrians and motorists.

The Cherry Hill Police Department, together with the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic and Safety, offers the following tips for safe passage of roadways for pedestrians.

  • Wear bright colored clothing, especially at night.
  • Walk on sidewalks or paths and always cross at the corner, within marked crosswalks.
  • Do not try to cross mid-block or between parked cars
  • Look left, right and left again before crossing and be on the lookout for turning vehicles
  • Learn the proper use of walk signals and obey them
  • Always walk facing traffic
  • Remain alert. Don’t assume that cars are going to stop

The Division of Highway Traffic and Safety offers the following tips for safe passage of roadways for motorists:

  • Stop for pedestrians in marked crosswalks
  • Watch for pedestrians when turning right on red
  • Obey speed limits
  • Do not block or park in crosswalks
  • Be alert for pedestrians at all times

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