SUMMIT, NJ — The conclusion of the Summit Street Smart Campaign was announced and the results of the online survey from mid-October were compared to the survey results measured after the program’s completion.
According to Summit’s website, the survey was created using SurveyMonkey and consisted of 27 questions that asked responders to report their walking and driving behaviors as well as what they observed others doing on the road. There were questions regarding pedestrians’ knowledge of New Jersey safety laws and awareness of the Street Smart Campaign in Summit. The pre- and post-campaign survey responses were compared to measure the effectiveness of the program.
“The number of people who were aware of the program increased according to the intercept surveys conducted in mid-October,” Public Information Officer Amy Cairns told LocalSource in an email.
The website reported a total of 139 people participated in the pre-campaign survey and 166 participated in the post-campaign survey. The respondents reported seeing a decrease in unsafe walking and driving behaviors, with the exception of jaywalking. The post-campaign survey also reported a decrease in the observation of dangerous behaviors.
The pre-campaign survey reported that residents already had a high understanding of correct street crossing behaviors and New Jersey driver and pedestrian safety laws. There was actually a five-percent increase in the amount of residents who believed they could receive a ticket for crossing the street while using a cell phone. This action is not considered a violation according to New Jersey law.
Intersection observations were performed immediately before and after the campaign in Summit to observe any changes in walking and driving behavior. The intersection of Summit Avenue and Broad Street was selected as the intersection observation site. There was a six percent reduction in drivers failing to yield to pedestrians when turning and a four percent reduction in pedestrians crossing against the traffic signal.
In addition to education, increased enforcement was another aspect of the Street Smart Campaign. The Summit Police Department issued 109 warnings and 86 summonses during the Street Smart Campaign. The majority of summonses were for speeding.
Date collected from the Speed Sentry sign showed drivers traveling at compliant speeds increased by three percent. Sixty percent of survey respondents reported they believe distracted driving to be their biggest concern, following 41 percent who reported they believe speeding to be the biggest concern.
Results from the campaign show a need for monitoring mid-block crossing on Summit Avenue between Broad and Walnut streets. Many pedestrians at the intersection of Summit Avenue and Broad Street crossed against the pedestrian signal because they didn’t press the button. Installing talking Accessible Pedestrian Signals at the intersection would assist pedestrians in safe and proper crossing.
“Our community is benefitting from our participation in the Street Smart Campaign,” explains Summit Mayor Nora Radest. “An increasing number of residents are embracing and focusing on safe walking, cycling and driving behaviors, and that is the best possible outcome.”
The Summit Police Department also noticed an increased compliance with safety rules and regulations.
“We found the Street Smart Campaign to be successful in increasing driver and pedestrian compliance with traffic safety laws,” reports Summit Police Chief Robert Weck. “Our involvement in the Street Smart Campaign had a positive impact on behavior and is helping to make our streets safer to travel for all users.”