Older pedestrians at greater risk of death in N.J. traffic accidents

A group that studies transportation issues says older pedestrians in New Jersey are more likely to be killed in traffic accidents.

The fatality rate in New Jersey for those 60 and over is almost twice that of younger pedestrians, says Janna Chernetz with the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

“They have a declining vision, decreased physical fitness and flexibility, decreased ability to focus attention, and increased reaction time,” Chernetz says. “Also existing pedestrian infrastructure, such as duration of crosswalk signals, have a tendency to ignore the needs of older walkers.”

The group recommends that the needs of pedestrians be considered when new roads are designed. It’s also urging state lawmakers to pass legislation that would increase the penalties for drivers involved in accidents that kill or injure pedestrians.

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