Road to safety: New initiative addresses White Horse Pike safety

The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office and the Division of Highway Traffic Safety stood at the intersection of Pinehurst and the White Horse Pike in Waterford Township on March 25 to announce a new traffic safety initiative aimed at cutting down on motor-vehicle accidents and enhancing pedestrian safety along the state highway.

The project cost of $400,000 will be borne by the traffic safety division.

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The White Horse Pike has seen an increase in car accidents and pedestrian fatalities in the last four years, with seven in 2023 alone, according to the state Department of Transportation. There have been 11,251 crashes on the roadway since 2010, 3,894 of them resulting in injuries and 80 fatal. More than 7,000 of them involved driver inattention or distracted driving and 692 involved unsafe speed.

“We have repeatedly seen deadly car crashes on the White Horse Pike and we are determined to reduce the number of lives lost because so many of these incidents can be prevented,” said Camden County Prosecutor Grace MacAulay. “And we have noticed a common theme in these crashes: distracted driving and disregarding the speed limit.

“Too often, drivers are looking at their cellphones and ignoring the speed limit, resulting in catastrophe.”

The plan is to work alongside the 14 local police agencies throughout the White Horse Pike corridor in Camden County to address aggressive and distracted driving while focusing on seat belt and pedestrian safety.

Waterford Police Chief Daniel Cormaney noted that his town has experienced a sharp increase in pedestrian fatalities on the pike, including the deaths of two small children, one 2 years old and the other 9 months old.

“We have since focused our efforts on both pedestrians and motorists in an attempt to educate and reduce the infractions that contribute to these types of accidents,” Cormaney explained, adding that there will be a noticeable increase in police presence in the area of the pike.

The traffic safety division is also involving other partners in the region to help county officials build a better connection with the community to assist with traffic safety education.

Pine Hill Borough Police Chief Chris Winters also addressed the mission-driven approach to creating safer travel corridors in the county.

“Working alongside my partners at the local level … we can take a forward leaning approach to enhancing and improving the overall safety on this main thoroughfare that traverses through our collective communities,” he noted.

“This new grant funding will have an immediate impact to assist us in reaching our goals and objectives, which is to eliminate pedestrian fatalities from the Ben Franklin Bridge down to the Pinelands.”    

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