Safe Routes Scoop

Ten Questions with Pam Fischer

the governor and the attorney general, not just for our pedestrian and bike safety initiatives, but traffic safety in general, is huge. If we’re going to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, we have to focus on all roadway users.  That means getting motorists to slow down and observe the rules of the road, particularly when it comes to pedestrians. At the same time, pedestrians and bicyclists must remember to observe basic traffic safety rules–cross at intersections, ride with traffic, etc.–so they’re not creating hazards. It’s about getting everyone to recognize that we must share the road. And there’s the rub–we live in a state where everyone is quick to point the finger at the other guy or gal and say he or she is the problem. If we’re going to improve safety on our roadways, each of us must take responsibility for our actions and change our behavior.

 

Question 3:
We have heard you say that the division can accomplish more by working closely with other state divisions, departments and organizations. Specifically, who have you worked with to assure greater and sustained collaboration and to what end?

 

Response:

The Division is the “state’s” traffic safety agency, so we must assume the leadership role in reducing

crashes and injuries, and saving lives. But we can’t do it alone. We must work with our “natural” partners from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC), to state and local police agencies, and traffic safety and transportation organizations to ensure that we’re using all available resources as effectively as possible.  In addition, we need to bring those organizations that haven’t traditionally focused on traffic safety, such as large and small businesses and chambers of commerce and schools, into the fold, so that we’re attacking the problem from as many fronts as possible.

 

Having said that, I must specifically point to the outstanding relationship the division has with NJDOT and NJMVC, as well as state and local law enforcement agencies and Community Traffic Safety Programs or CTSPs.  Together, we’re studying the data, particularly when it comes to pedestrians, and taking the “4-E” approach to improving safety: Engineering, Enforcement, Education and Encouragement. 

 

The good news is that fatal crashes involving pedestrians are down this year over last.  I believe that we can definitely point to these partnerships, sparked by the governor’s pedestrian safety initiative, as the reason for the

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