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Are pedestrian deaths rising in New Jersey?

With pedestrian deaths on the rise in New Jersey, police have started to look for reasons why more people are being killed now than ever before. Across all of New Jersey, there was a record number of pedestrian fatalities in 2014; 169 people were killed. In 2013, 131 people were killed, showing a 29 percent increase between the years.

2015 isn't looking much better. In January, 13 people were killed. In February, 12 pedestrians were killed. In March, another 17 were pronounced dead from accidents on the roads. Not everything is bad news, though. Overall road fatalities are dropping in New Jersey, and in 2014, only 561 people were killed in comparison to 723 in 2004. The issue is that out of those deaths, the 151 pedestrians killed in 2004 made up 20.9 percent of the total number of fatalities, which is out of line. Now, 2014's numbers show that walking deaths added up to 30 percent of traffic deaths.

So, what is the actual issue causing so many fatalities? Some motorists claim that a change to driving laws that requires them to stop instead of yielding at crosswalks has backfired. They claim that abrupt stops cause other motorists to swerve or get into accidents, which can affect pedestrians.

Around 38 percent of deaths are likely caused by pedestrians who cross at prohibited locations, like crossing the street when traffic has a green light. Looking at data, that still leaves many deaths unaccounted for, so police are starting to look into other causes, like drunk driving or speeding, to find the underlying cause of a growing fatality problem.

Source: NorthJersey.com, "Road Warrior: N.J. pedestrian deaths rise; police look for reasons," accessed Aug. 04, 2015

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