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Pedestrian accidents too high in Montclair, New Jersey

In Montclair, New Jersey, pedestrian safety is of the utmost importance in 2014. Why has it become such an issue? Montclair has the highest percentage of crashes related to pedestrians than all of the rest of the state of New Jersey. In New Jersey, 2.5 percent of all crashes involve a pedestrian. In Montclair, this percentage is as high as 3.5, according to the township engineer.

With so many pedestrians being injured by cars, there has to be something done to keep them safe. A pedestrian safety forum has been organized by an advocate in the area and then filmed by Montclair TV 34. During the forum, panelists, including a police sergeant, the 2nd ward councilwoman and a police officer among others, discussed their varied views on street safety and pedestrian accidents. They discussed the three "E's" which include engineering, education and enforcement, which are all parts of keeping the roadways safe for drivers and pedestrians.

Educating the public about crosswalk laws, distracted driving and safe travel speeds has been an important goal, according to the story. The police sergeant claims that distracted driving is becoming an epidemic, and now people are being hurt. Another panelist discussed the importance of making an effort to educate new drivers and parents dropping off students at school about safe driving.

The Pedestrian Safety Committee has also received a grant to help launch the "Drive With Care in Montclair" campaign that aims to keep people safe on the road. Additionally, things like inflating bike tires correctly, checking bike brakes and making sure the chain is clean of debris have been talked about to help improve bicycle safety. The importance of helmets, being aware and knowing the rules of the road are also important to the group's safety campaign.

The group is hoping that the safety campaign will reach all people, but the majority of people hit are between the ages of 8 and 25.

Pedestrians who have suffered injuries because of a driver's actions may have the right to pursue compensation for their injuries and other damages. It's important that injured parties know their rights and how the civil court process works to have the best chance at a verdict in their favor.

Source: NorthJersey.com, "Montclair Street Smarts: Panel held on pedestrian safety" No author given, Apr. 14, 2014

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