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A pedestrian has died after being struck by a vehicle earlier today at the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and Locust Street in Lakewood.

Over the past number of months, this area - which continues to see unabated overdevelopment - suffered another pedestrian struck and killed as well as another major crash.

Ironically, also today, Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, along with the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety (HTS), announced a substantial reduction in traffic-related fatalities in 2023 statewide.

According to preliminary data as of January 8, 2024, fatal crashes in the state decreased by 9.4%, dropping from 646 in 2022 to 585 in 2023. This positive trend has resulted in an overall 10.4% reduction in fatalities from 2023 to 2022, declining from 689 in 2022 to 617 in 2023, and a 11.5% decrease from the 2021 traffic fatality total of 697.

The decrease in fatalities extends across drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Particularly noteworthy is the significant drop in motor vehicle passenger deaths, which decreased by 16.5% from 103 in 2022 to 86 in 2023. Driver fatalities also decreased by 12.4%, moving from 379 in 2022 to 332 in 2023, while pedestrian fatalities experienced an 8.4% reduction from 191 in 2022 to 175 in 2023.

Preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates a 4.5% decline in fatalities on the nation's roads during the first three quarters of 2023. Encouragingly, New Jersey is among the 33 states experiencing a decline in traffic fatalities during that period, with only seven states showing a more substantial drop. New Jersey saw a decline in fatalities in 14 of the 21 counties, with Burlington, Cape May, Hunterdon, Monmouth, Salem, and Sussex counties each experiencing a decline of 30% or greater in 2023 compared to 2022. Hudson County experienced the highest percentage increase of 53%, from 17 fatalities in 2022 to 26 in 2023. Middlesex County had the highest number of traffic fatalities in 2023, at 64.

In 2023, HTS allocated over $25 million to various law enforcement agencies and strategic partners statewide, reinforcing their traffic safety endeavors and remaining committed to implementing a comprehensive highway traffic safety plan that combines high-visibility enforcement mobilization with educational awareness campaigns to maximize impact. These efforts were coordinated with law enforcement and nonprofit agencies to ensure widespread effect across the state.

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