As we celebrate the holiday season with our families and friends, and begin to reflect on this past year, there will many families questioning the blessings of this season as they deal with the tragic and seaming senseless loss of loved ones killed or injured during December.
I bring this up today because I picked up my local weekly paper and read about an 86 year old man who was killed crossing US 1 at an intersection in North Brunswick I often use to cross the highway when riding my bike around town. Wanting to see if I could find out more about what happened to this poor gentleman I did a quick search for the term "pedestrian" in the local New Jersey news. Unfortunately the number of pedestrian crashes I came across was very disheartening. On top of that, I noticed that a vast majority of the victims were either over the age of 60 or children.
However, what is the equally disturbing is continued tone, in many of the stories, that seem to blame the victim, along with forum comments that do so outright. Yes! Many times pedestrians can make foolish moves. We've all seen people that seem to willfully dare us to hit them while we are behind the wheel. And we've all have come close to making big mistakes on the road whether on foot, on a bike or in a car. However, being a pedestrian wearing dark clothing is not a crime nor should it ever be a a quick and easy excuse for a driver in a crash (admittedly, crosswalks with lighting to maximize a driver's ability to see pedestrians are far and few). And merely trying to cross a certain street at a certain location during a certain time is also not a crime but actual comments like, "Only a fool would attempt to cross the highway at the time of day" (source) continue in the on-line forums.
Only thing that we can do is to keep trying to make New Jersey a safer place for those who get about without a car. Hopefully the New Year will prove better then the last.
The story links are below:
Elderly pedestrian is struck, killed on Route 1 in North Brunswick
The Star-Ledger • Monday, December 13, 2010
Pedestrian fatally struck by carjacked vehicle in East Orange during police chase is identified
The Star-Ledger • Friday, December 17, 2010
After being hit by car, Bayonne woman on the mend
The Jersey Journal • Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Sadly, another death on the road
Daily Record • Monday, December 20, 2010
Dover, NJ: Pedestrian struck crossing Route 46
Daily Record • Monday, December 13, 2010
Manchester pedestrian dies from injuries suffered in accident
Asbury Park Press • Monday, December 20, 2010
Marlton woman, 42, hit by car on Route 70
Courier Post • Thursday, December 23, 2010
Pedestrian struck outside Hillsborough Municipal Complex
Courier News • Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Hillsborough accident seriously injures pedestrian, 46, on Route 206
Courier News • Saturday, December 18, 2010
Ewing pedestrian suffers broken leg; pinned under car after icy collision
The Times of Trenton Thursday, December 2, 2010
Pedestrian hit by car remains hospitalized
The Record • Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Pedestrian struck by car dies from injuries
Wayne Today • Thursday, December 16, 2010
"Pedestrian hit by alleged drunk driver"
Belleville Times • Friday, December 17, 2010
East Rutherford resident killed over the weekend
South Bergenite • Tuesday, December 21, 2010
"West Milford boy, 12 injured crossing road"
Suburban Trends • Sunday, December 19, 2010
Lakeland student remains at trauma center
Suburban Trends • Wednesday, December 15, 2010
(approximate crash site)
Pedestrian struck in Fair Lawn
The Record • Saturday, December 4, 2010
2 teen pedestrians struck by car in Fair Lawn
The Record • Thursday, December 2, 2010
Three teens hit by vehicles in Ridgewood on Friday afternoon
The Ridgewood News • Friday, December 3, 2010