Pedestrian Safety

The 2017 Street Smart Boonton campaign was a success. To learn more about the program, read below.

View final report here:

Street Smart Boonton Report Cover

Boonton Boosts Pedestrian Safety with Street Smart Campaign

Street Smart Boonton Results in High Increase of Street Safety Awareness

 

Main Street Boonton, NJ in Morris County. (Melissa Estock | TransOptions)

(Boonton, NJ)– TransOptions, the Town of Boonton, the Boonton Police Department, and numerous stakeholders, completed their efforts to make pedestrian safety a priority in the community with a successful Street Smart Campaign in Morris County. Street Smart NJ is a public education, awareness and behavioral change campaign developed by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA).

Following the roughly month-long campaign that combined education and enforcement techniques, new data shows that efforts to increase public awareness paid off. Street Smart successfully changed behaviors with results showing a 39 percent reduction in pedestrians crossing midblock (jaywalking) and an 11 percent reduction in pedestrians crossing against the traffic signal. Public awareness of the Boonton Police Department’s enforcement of pedestrian safety laws increased 56 percent, awareness of pedestrian safety-related advertising messages rose 50 percent, and awareness of the Street Smart campaign’s presence in Boonton during the month of October 2017 increased 63 percent.

Street Smart Boonton included 162 hours of pedestrian safety law enforcement by the Boonton Police Department as well as multiple educational outreach events coordinated by TransOptions. In addition to enforcement, Street Smart messaging was displayed on tip cards, posters, banners, table tents, and street signs throughout the community during the campaign to increase awareness of the safety messages. Other components to the campaign included a Street Smart Snapchat filter for promotion, a pre- and post- campaign intersection observation to witness changes in walking and driving behavior, a pre- and post- campaign survey to evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign, and the use of TransOptions’ Speed Sentry radar speed display to reduce the speed of drivers traveling towards Boonton’s downtown area.

For educational outreach efforts in Boonton, TransOptions provided Street Smart materials and safe walking and driving information to two senior groups, conducted a “Ready to Walk and Roll” program for 1st grade students at John Hill School to educate students on how to identify safe ways to travel in town, and conducted a “Traffic Safety Town” program at John Hill School to educate fourth grade students on how to safely navigate the road as pedestrians, drivers, and bicyclists on a street scape laid out in the school gymnasium.

“Boonton’s walkability is one of its greatest assets. With all the distractions facing pedestrians and drivers, the Street Smart Boonton program helped educate the public and enforced the rules that will keep Boonton’s greatest asset, its people, safe. Our most sincere thanks to TransOptions, our Police department and the NJTPA for helping to save lives here in Boonton and beyond,” said Matthew DiLauri, Mayor of Boonton.

Captain Stephen Jones, CPM Operations Division Commander Boonton Police Department, informs pedestrian of Street Smart Boonton campaign while putting up Street Smart ‘vital signs’ posters along Main Street in Boonton. (Melissa Estock | TransOptions)

Street Smart’s “check your vital signs” slogan focuses on five safe practices to increase safety: use crosswalks, wait for the walk, stop for pedestrians, obey speed limits, and heads up phones down. The campaign survey found an increase in recognition of all of the vital sign messages:

  • Use Crosswalks: 61 percent increase
  • Wait for the Walk: 54 percent increase
  • Stop for Pedestrians: 56 percent increase
  • Obey Speed Limits: 45 percent increase
  • Heads Up, Phones Down: 38 percent increase

Street Smart NJ has three main goals:

  • Change pedestrian and motorist behaviors to reduce the incidence of pedestrian injuries and fatalities in New Jersey.
  • Educate both motorists and pedestrians about their roles and responsibilities for safely sharing the road.
  • Increase enforcement of pedestrian safety laws and roadway users’ awareness of that effort.

“After completing another Street Smart campaign and seeing an immediate impact on behaviors of people walking and driving, it’s clear that Street Smart continues to be an effective program that makes our roads safer for all users. We’re pleased to see the positive outcome of these efforts in Boonton and commend the dedication of the town’s officials and police department to this cause,” said Dan Callas, TransOptions’ president.

The Boonton Police Department secured funding for overtime enforcement through a Federal Highway Safety Grant awarded by the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety (NJDHTS).

Street Smart NJ was developed in response to New Jersey’s designation by FHWA as a pedestrian “focus” state. In 2015, New Jersey was ranked 15th in the nation in pedestrian fatalities, according to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association. The campaign is a collaborative effort among public, private and non-profit organizations. The NJTPA, along with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), NJ Transit, NJDHTS, and New Jersey’s Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) worked with numerous community partners to develop and pilot the Street Smart NJ program.

For more information on Street Smart and to view the final report for Boonton, visit TransOptions.org/street-smart, or call TransOptions at (973) 267-7600. NOTE: Please contact Melissa Estock, TransOptions Communications Coordinator, for additional photos of Street Smart Boonton. A non-profit organization, TransOptions is the transportation management association for northwest New Jersey that delivers programs to improve mobility, environment and overall quality of life of all residents and commuters.

PRE-PROGRAM: Boonton Launches Street Smart Pedestrian Safety Campaign

Grassroots public awareness, educational outreach and high-visibility law enforcement aims to change behaviors as they relate to pedestrian safety 

(Boonton, NJ)- Morris County is home to the latest efforts in the statewide Street Smart campaign. Speaking in front of Town Hall, Boonton officials and community stakeholders kicked off Street Smart Boonton, a month-long pedestrian safety campaign that will run through October, 2017.

At a press conference Tuesday, the Town of Boonton, the Boonton Police Department, TransOptions, county and state representatives and other advocates launched the campaign, which is an effort that combines grassroots public awareness, educational outreach and high-visibility law enforcement to change behaviors as they relate to pedestrian safety.

StreET SMART BANNER WITH SAMPLE SIGNS REGARDING PEDESTRIAN SAFETY
Poster---Boonton---Stop-for-pedestrians
Poster--Boonton--Obey-Speed-Limits
Poster---Boonton---Use-Crosswalks
Poster---Boonton---Heads-up
Poster---Boonton---Wait-for-the-Walk

“Boonton’s walkability is one of its greatest assets. With the all the distractions facing pedestrians and drivers, the Street Smart Boonton program will help educate the public and enforce the rules that will keep Boonton’s greatest asset, its people, safe. Our most sincere thanks to TransOptions, our Police department and the NJTPA for helping to save lives here in Boonton and beyond,” said Matthew DiLauri, Mayor of Boonton.

From 2013 to 2015, there have been 16 pedestrian-related crashes in Boonton, including one fatal crash. 38 percent of these crashes were a result of pedestrians or motorists failing to yield, while 31 percent of these crashes were a result of distracted driving. That’s according to the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT).

Street Smart’s “check your vital signs” slogan emphasizes safe travel roles and responsibilities to both pedestrians and motorists alike. The vital signs are displayed on tip cards, posters, banners and street signs throughout the community and in local businesses as a visual reminder for drivers and pedestrians.

TransOptions, a non-profit transportation organization, is leading the Street Smart effort in Boonton, after successfully completing similar campaigns across northwestern New Jersey.

“With the continuing success of Street Smart throughout the state, we’re looking forward to bringing this important campaign to Boonton,” said TransOptions President John F. Ciaffone.

“As we have done in several other towns, we are handling the education portion of the campaign, and pairing that outreach with surveys and observational analysis of pedestrian behavior in Boonton,”

said Laura Cerutti, TransOptions’ Street Smart program manager.

The Street Smart NJ program was piloted in five communities in New Jersey in 2013 and 2014. The pilot programs were conducted in Newark, Jersey City, Woodbridge, Hackettstown, and Long Beach Island. The five communities were selected in order to incorporate the state’s diverse landscape of urban, suburban, rural, and shore regions.

The program comes as a response to New Jersey being designated a pedestrian “focus” state by the Federal Highway Administration. In 2015, New Jersey ranked 15th in the nation in pedestrian fatalities, according to a recent report from The Governor’s Highway Safety Association. Since the pilot programs, Street Smart has grown significantly and has been active in over 40 municipalities throughout the state.

Boonton was awarded a grant from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety (NJDHTS) for campaign materials and enforcement efforts.

To learn more, visit TransOptions.org/street-smart, or http://bestreetsmartnj.org/

Other Sources:          http://www.njsp.org/info/fatalacc/index.shtml

                                https://cait.rutgers.edu/

Boonton cops go undercover as pedestrians to target distracted drivers (10/24/17)

Why did the Boonton undercover police officers cross the road? To target distracted drivers who don't yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. 

The officers, dressed in plain clothes crossed Main and Church streets over and over again on Monday to bring attention to pedestrian safety while cracking down on distracted drivers. 

There were 16 pedestrians struck by vehicles in Boonton between 2013 and 2015, according to Federal Highway Administration data. Thirty-one percent of the crashes were a result of distracted driving, according to the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT).

“Pedestrian safety is an issue for all walkable towns, especially a historic Main Street like Boonton's. It's a narrow County-owned thoroughfare with lots of shops, restaurants and pedestrian-attracting businesses,” said Boonton Mayor Matthew DiLauri.

Boonton is not alone. New Jersey ranks 15th in the nation when it comes to pedestrian fatalities, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Boonton Police Chief David Mayhood estimates about five pedestrians struck per year is typical for a Morris County town.

Mayhood said he remembers three particularly bad ones over the last 10 years in town, where the victims suffered irreversible injuries. One crash, in 2015, ended in a fatality, the chief said. 

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DiLauri was elected that year and he said it was one of the first things he wanted to tackle. So the town applied for a Street Smart grant. TransOptions coordinates pedestrian safety grants that provide money for law enforcement and education.

TransOptions, a non-profit transportation organization, is leading the Street Smart effort in Boonton, after completing similar campaigns across northwestern New Jersey.

Street Smart’s “check your vital signs” slogan emphasizes safe travel roles and responsibilities to pedestrians and motorists. The vital signs are displayed on tip cards, posters, banners and street signs throughout the community and in local businesses as a visual reminder for drivers and pedestrians.

Boonton received $10,000 through the program with $9,000 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The money will cover police overtime for enforcement at crosswalks. 

The remainder of the money came from the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and pays for a public awareness program that includes street signs.

Special Officer Mario Santulli said he is surprised by how often he encounters distracted drivers. He said most of them are distracted by either texting and phone calls.

What makes it doubly confounding, he said, is that car manufacturers have done a lot to get those phones out of drivers’ hands.  

“Most cars now have Bluetooth,” he said. “That is the first thing I do when I get in the car — turn on the Bluetooth.” 

So Santulli and other officers are spending time downtown in October and November dressed in plain clothes stepping into crosswalks looking to catch people not paying attention. 

“I almost got hit,” Santulli said. 

They have been writing a lot of tickets, he said. The most frequent times for catching offenders is during the morning commute and between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. when children are dismissed from school.

Mayhood said it’s a 2-point driver's license violation with fines that start at $85 for each summons.

Email: myers@northjersey.com