Hightstown Borough honored by Safe Routes to School

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Hightstown Borough has been honored with the Silver Level award by the New Jersey Safe Routes to School program.

The town was honored for its efforts to encourage school children to walk or ride a bicycle to school, borough officials said.

To earn silver status, the town had to implement two Safe Routes to School projects and an additional innovative project, officials said.

The Hightstown Borough Police Department ran a summer bicycle helmet, bicycle safety and ice cream social event.

The town’s Complete Streets Committee conducted a “downtown walk audit” to find ways to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists in the business district.

And for its innovative project, the town initiated the Hightstown Pace Car program. It encourages drivers to obey the speed limit, stop for pedestrians and to give bicyclists the right of way.

The Hightstown Pace Car program is a joint collaboration between Hightstown Borough and the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association.

Residents who registered for the Pace Car program signed a pledge to drive at the speed limit, to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk, and to share the road with pedestrians and bicyclists.

The Pace Car program participants also had to agree to limit texting and talking on their cell phones while they are driving.

A special Pace Car magnet was handed out to car program participants, which indicated their intention to drive at the speed limit.

Borough officials are especially proud of the Hightstown Pace Car program.

“Having residents participate and display the Pace Car magnet on their cars while they ‘set the pace’ through Hightstown Borough lets other drivers know that the residents of the borough are taking these matters seriously,” Mayor Lawrence Quattrone said.

“Hightstown residents will not tolerate bad driving,” Quattrone said.