PLEASANTVILLE, NJ (AP) – Months after a new state law took effect requiring drivers to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks – not just yield to them – police are giving out more tickets and warnings.
There have also been fewer pedestrian fatalities so far this year.
Pam Fischer, director of the state Division of Highway Traffic Safety, says fatalities dropped 19 percent from January through September, compared with the same time frame last year.
The law took effect in April.
It was proposed following a significant jump in pedestrian fatalities in 2009 after three years of decline.
Fischer would not attribute the drop in fatalities this year to the new crosswalk law in particular.
“There’s a whole bunch of tools in the toolbox, and one of them is the change in the law,” Fisher told The Press of Atlantic City. “We’re really trying to change that ‘us against them’ mentality”’ she said of motorists and pedestrians.
Traffic safety officials said the law’s previous wording requiring motorists to “yield” in crosswalks was confusing.
According to municipal court figures, police have issued more summonses and warnings this year than in the previous year.
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