SOUTH BRUNSWICK – South Brunswick Township comprises nearly 208 miles of highways and roadways ranging from two lane highways like Route 27 to six lanes of travel on parts of Route 1.
Highway safety is one of the primary concerns at the South Brunswick Police Department, Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said in a prepared statement on Oct. 12.
“The events of nearly two weeks ago just remind all of us of the dangers of crossing the highways at improper locations,” Hayducka said in the statement, referring to Angelina Rivera, who was killed after jumping over the median on Route 1 in South Brunswick.
So far in 2020, 132 pedestrians have died on New Jersey roadways.
“Angelina Rivera, age 14, became one of the youngest back on Sept. 30. Her death is a tragedy and one that we can avoid with the help of parents, schools, motorists and our entire community,” Hayducka said in the statement.
In order to address the increasing dangers of pedestrian crossings, the police department has developed a three step plan:
Step 1: Additional fencing along Route 1.
“We are working with the New Jersey Department of Transportation to increase fencing along portions of the highway where officers have observed pedestrians crossing the divider. Previous areas that already have fencing have seen a significant reduction in pedestrian incidents,” Hayducka said in the statement.
Step 2: Asking parents and guardians to have open conversations with young people about highway safety.
“Talk to your son or daughter about the following topics: Phones down, heads up when walking. One in four high school students cross the road while distracted.
“Cross at the corner, no shortcuts. Crossing at someplace other than an intersection accounts for 70% of child pedestrian deaths.
“Be alert when it is dark out. Three out of four teen pedestrian deaths take place between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. when it is dark out,” Hayducka said in the statement.
Step 3: Motorist help.
“If you see people crossing the highway at locations they should not be, call the South Brunswick Police Department at 732-329-4646 to report it. This will allow us to improve the tracking of problem locations.
“My goal is to have zero pedestrian accidents and only with the support of the entire community can we make it happen,” Hayducka said in the statement.