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Pedestrian fatality concerns lead to new bill in New Jersey

Something that you need to consider as a pedestrian is all the ways you can make sure you're safe when you're on or near roadways. Distracted driving can lead to vehicles passing through intersections without making sure there are no pedestrians there, and distracted walking can cause the reverse.

To stay safer as a pedestrian, remember that being distracted is still a problem for you, too. In New Jersey, pedestrian fatalities have reached record highs; approximately one out of three people killed in traffic accidents are pedestrians.

Many times, these people are killed by drivers who are speeding, driving under the influence, or simply not paying attention. Some of the blame can fall on pedestrians, though, especially when they are texting while crossing or talking on their phones without paying attention to the roads.

A new bill has been suggested in New Jersey that would address that concern, costing distracted pedestrians $50 every time they cross while texting or talking on their phones. The goal is to make pedestrians more aware of the dangers on the roads, while similar bills aim to prevent distracted drivers from getting behind the wheel.

Over the last five years, there were 750 pedestrian deaths in New Jersey and another 17,000 injuries involving pedestrians. If you work out the statistics, that divides into one death every 2.5 days with 11 people getting injured every day. With more awareness, it's hoped that both pedestrians and drivers will take more care toward each other around the roads, so they can stop being a hazards to each other.

Source: NJTV, "Bill Proposes $50 Fine, Possible Jail Time for Distracted Walking," Michael Aron, March 29, 2016

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