MIDDLESEX COUNTY – Middlesex County will use a $95,750 grant from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety to help improve the safety of all roadway users in the county.
Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety Pam Fischer and Middlesex County Freeholder H. James Polos joined Edison Mayor Antonia Ricigliano, State Police Sgt. John Sandner and Edison Police Chief Thomas Bryan last week in announcing the county grant and a second grant of $10,000 specifically for Edison Township.
“Pedestrian fatalities and injuries are issues we take seriously in Middlesex County. We intend to use the grant dollars to establish education and enforcement programs that can reduce those numbers,” said Polos, chair of the county’s Public Works and Transportation Committee.
“Sadly, the number of pedestrians who lost their lives in traffic-related crashes increased dramatically in 2009, representing 26 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state last year. That’s more than double the national average,” Fischer said. “Both motorists and pedestrians must remain alert at all times and remember that roadway safety is a shared responsibility.”
The Education and Enforcement Grant for Edison will go toward funding a traffic and pedestrian safety program in the township.
“With so many major roadways crisscrossing Edison Township, the need for pedestrian safety is of paramount concern,” said Ricigliano. “Educating our children is the most effective tool we can use in this endeavor.”
In addition to focusing on reducing injuries and fatalities, especially along State Highway Route 1 and 9 which runs through the county, Polos said the grant funds the county will receive will be used to create an interactive web site and establish an education and enforcement program with members of private community associations.
Polos said that the funds awarded to the county also will be used to form an Older Adult Traffic Safety subcommittee to focus on improving pedestrian safety among senior citizens.
“The county is always seeking ways to partner with the state and our municipalities to safeguard the well being of our residents,” said Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano. “These grant funds will help us keep our roads safe.”
Fischer stressed that road safety is a shared responsibility between motorists and pedestrians: “When you’re behind the wheel and nearing an intersection, slow down and be on the lookout for both children and adults who may unexpectedly appear in your path. Pedestrians should use crosswalks or cross at corners and make themselves as visible as possible, particularly at night. The bottom line is that motorists and pedestrians must make safety their top priority.”
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