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Report: Bergen and Passaic counties dangerous for elderly walkers

In Uncategorized on December 11, 2008 at 11:59 am

THE RECORD
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
BY KAREN ROUSE

Bergen and Passaic counties ranked among the five worst in New Jersey for older walkers, according to a transportation report released Wednesday.

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign study, based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, found that while adults 65 and older make up roughly 14 percent of Bergen County’s population, they comprised 30 percent of pedestrians killed between 2005 and 2007.

In Passaic County, the non-profit organization , which promotes transit-friendly communities, found that seniors 65 or older make up 11 percent of the population, but 23.5 percent of those killed in pedestrian accidents.

“Older pedestrians are less likely to survive getting hit by a car or truck,” said Zoe Baldwin, New Jersey advocate for the New York-based group. As a result, she said, transportation officials should incorporate safety measures that protect older walkers.

Those include engineering crosswalks so that the distance from once side of a street to another isn’t too long, banning right turns at red lights, and extending the time pedestrians have to cross the street.

“I’m in my mid-20s and if I’m in the middle of the intersection when it starts flashing, ‘Don’t Walk,’ there’s a problem,” Baldwin said. Communities “don’t always think of children, seniors or disabled people as they cross the road.”

Read tehe full report on Bergen County conditions here:

http://www.tstc.org/reports/seniors08/bergen.pdf

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  1. Although the report highlights older victims, the same page of The Record this morning has articles about a 12-year-old girl and a 25-year-old woman being struck in separate incidents. And in our own little Village a 20-something-year-old man was struck and killed last Mothers’ Day, and a baby was struck in her stroller last month.

  2. Yes, this is very true, you do not need to be older to be hit by a reckless or careless driver, although we also had two elderly people hit in Ridgewood a couple of weeks ago. At least in the case of the young man who died and also in the case of the two elderly victims, the drivers were very remorseful, devastated. In the case of the priest who hit the stroller, she reportedly was going to contest the charge of failure to yield, rather than accept any responsibility for her nearly disastrous carelessness. Don’t know what the outcome of that ever was.

  3. The common sense approach of “…engineering crosswalks so that the distance from once side of a street to another isn’t too long, banning right turns at red lights, and extending the time pedestrians have to cross the street” is long overdue. The volume of traffic has extended far past what our roads were built for. Improvement of intersetions and crossings are required. The old days of a cop directing traffic is not cost effective, it is subject to human error and there is far too much traffic on todays roads. Education and enforcement are also import. But, some people don’t care and we can’t put a cop at every crosswalk. Designing intersetions to be pedestrian friendly should be priority number one.

  4. In the case of the priest who hit the stroller

    A priest hit a stroller??

    Where?, Who?, When? – What priest?

    I heard it was a rabbi.

    She’s not a priest.

  5. …banning right turns at red lights…

    Make up your mind.

    Don’t you wan’t to be green?

  6. Here’s the solution: allow pedestrians to legally carry firearms and shoot anyone who doesn’t honor their right of way at a crosswalk. That should make drivers pay better attention.

  7. You are right. She is definitely not a priest. Other things maybe, but not a priest. And don’t insult the jews by suggesting she is a rabbi.

  8. Maybe a priestly rabbinical imam would do? I’m sorry, I left out druid.

  9. In other towns they are employing the use of new walk sings that actually COUNT DOWN (from what i’ve noticed 14) this tells the pedestrian how much time they have, also tells cars approaching if their light is going to turn yellow. I drive through one everyday and everyday i see that number counting down.. if i’m approaching, but still a good distance away i start to slow down once it’s at 2.. Cause i know i will get the yellow. The people behind me get mad but oh well. yellow lights are for preparing to stop not speed up.
    Anyway, that might help some pedestrians, and i agree SOME intersections should be not turn on red.. But then again, how many people don’t obey that either? Most people don’t even stop at stop signs anymore.

  10. That is for sure that most people do not stop at stop signs. They roll through them. Some slow way down, but many do not come to a full complete stop. The full complete stop really allows you to look every which way to make sure there are no pedestrians or cars coming through. The rolling stop only allows for a scan of the situation. Sit and watch a busy intersection that is controlled by a stop sign and you will see this phenomenon. Car after car after car will slow down and then glide through. Everyone is in such a hurry and no one seems to realize how deadly a car can be.

  11. People are so used to multitasking that they think they can drive, talk on the phone, drink coffee, glide though intersections with a quick glance for pedestrians. When driving a car, the only thing a person should be doing is driving the car. That is it. Nothing else. I think they should take cup holders out of cars. No need to drink hot coffee while driving. If everyone took driving more seriously there would be many fewer accidents/

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