Local police, officials launch pedestrian safety campaign

With local officials gathered behind, Bordentown Township Chief of Police, Brian Pesce, addresses community at kick-off event for "Street Smart NJ" on Oct. 1. Photo by Thomas Wiedmann

In an effort to stymie potential accidents involving pedestrians along one of Bordentown Township’s main highways, the police department recently announced a new initiative to increase awareness through the month of October.

Known to many as “the most dangerous New Jersey road for pedestrians,” officials said Route 130 was a major reason for the newly launched “Street Smart NJ” pedestrian safety campaign.

The state-wide outreach program is intended to educate both pedestrians and motorists to “Check Your Vital Signs” to improve road safety. Motorists are advised to obey the speed limit and stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. Pedestrians, in turn, are told to use crosswalks and wait for the walk-signal where applicable. A new “Heads Up, Phone Down” message has been implemented as well to combat distracted driving and walking.

“It helps bring everyone together for one message. For the next month, we’re going to push this message regularly and strongly,” Police Chief Brian Pesce said. “The community knows this is important. We’ve heard feedback from them about issues at crosswalks and more as well, so I think it’s going to gain traction and they’re going to latch onto it. It’s a way for us to deliver the message all together.”

Funding for the initiative came from a $12,000 Pedestrian Safety and Education Grant from the state Division of Highway Traffic Safety.

Along with additional signage, the township police will be conducting numerous pedestrian safety enforcement operations at problem crosswalk and intersection areas. The department is also partnering with Cross County Connection (CCCTMA) to assist with education, outreach and campaign materials, and identifying areas where pedestrian crosswalks and signs should be installed.

The local police departments will also continue to work with the state Department of Transportation to improve safety along local highways and make them more pedestrian accessible.

Additionally, educational pedestrian safety assemblies are scheduled throughout the month at Bordentown Middle School and the Bordentown Township Senior Center. The township police will also have an informative booth at this year’s Cranberry Festival this weekend.

The police also partnered with all 12 area hotel owners, who agreed to display pedestrian safety posters and distribute pedestrian safety handouts to all their guests upon check-in.

“Ultimately, we’d like to reduce our pedestrian-related collisions, have an impact on distracted driving and bring our fatalities down to zero,” Pesce said. “We’re hopeful that it has an immediate impact on those two factors, and a reciprocal affect on our surrounding areas as well.”

For more information or questions, contact Bordentown Township Police Chief, Brian Pesce at 609-298-4300, ext. 2129, or at bpesce@bordentowntownshippd.com.

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