Long Beach Island rolls out pedestrian safety effort

 (Phil Gregory/ for NewsWorks)

(Phil Gregory/ for NewsWorks)

As the summer tourism season get in full gear, a new pedestrian safety program is being launched on Long Beach Island.

The Street Smart campaign is aimed at getting pedestrians to pay attention to traffic when crossing the street — and getting drivers to obey the speed limit and stop for people in crosswalks.

The law that gives pedestrians the right of way can cause some problems along the island’s busy main drag, said Long Beach Township Mayor Joe Mancini.

“The arrogance of it all is what’s really hurting. People are pushing baby carriages out in the road, and it’s like child endangerment. That’s a good law if it’s a two-lane highway and a 25 mph speed limit,” he said Wednesday. “When you have a five-lane highway and a 35 mph speed limit, it doesn’t work.”

Officials with the North Jersey Transportation Authority say similar public awareness and targeted law enforcement campaigns in Newark, Jersey City, and Woodbridge brought about improvements in pedestrian and driver behavior.

New Jersey ranks 14th in the nation for pedestrian fatalities.

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