National report: Pedestrian deaths are on the rise

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BLOOMFIELD -

The Governors Highway Safety Association, a national organization, reports that the number of pedestrian deaths is on the rise in the United States.

“I don’t know if people are on their phones or texting or what, but it’s a big problem. A lot of people are dying, it’s crazy,” says Belleville resident Victor Soto.

Soto says that he knows of at least two people who have died while walking across New Jersey streets over the past few months.

According to the report, 2018 will have the highest number of pedestrian deaths in almost 30 years. The organization says that 6,227 walkers lost their lives in crashes in 2018 – up from 4 percent in 2017.

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The number of deaths increased by 9 percent in New Jersey, from 67 deaths to 73 deaths in the first half of 2018.

The rise in deaths is attributed to an increase in the number of people walking, especially to work, more SUVs on the road and more distractions.

Several New Jersey communities have implemented initiatives and programs recently to promote awareness in an attempt to improve pedestrian safety.

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