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$6.51 billion

June 3, 2011

The 1,514 pedestrian deaths that occurred in New Jersey between 2000 and 2009 cost the state $6.51 billion, according to Transportation for America, a Washington, D.C., group that advocates for a better national transportation system.

According to the advocate organization, the National Safety Council has pegged the economic cost of each pedestrian death at $4.3 million.

New Jersey ranks 21st out of the 50 states in terms of danger to pedestrians and eighth in fatalities for those over 65. Vehicle speed, unsafe street and road design, lack of sidewalks and too many arterial roads are all causes of pedestrian deaths. Nationally, just 10 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur inside a crosswalk.

African-Americans and Hispanics are killed in disproportionate numbers in New Jersey. The rate for African-Americans was 2.3 per 100,000 population, while Hispanics had a rate of 2.05. Non-Hispanic whites had a pedestrian fatality rate of 1.4.

The rate of pedestrian deaths jumps as people age. In New Jersey, the rate was 3.47 for those 65 and older. Atlantic and Union Counties saw the highest rates in the state, 3.9 and 2.7 respectively.

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