A new report from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign shows an alarming statistic. The Garden State's older pedestrian fatality rates are higher than the national average and with Ocean County being home to more seniors than any other in the state, officials are very concerned.

From 2008 to 2010, 436 pedestrians lost their lives on Jersey's streets. Of that number, 130 were over the age of 60. In Ocean County alone, 14 people lost their lives and 6 in Monmouth County. The figures could be attributed to several factors. Jane Maloney heads the Ocean County Office of Senior Services. She says "it's so alarming and we are not taking these figures lightly. There should be no deaths on the roads at all - and seniors need to be extra careful."

Two of the most likely causes of the high numbers are an increase in population within the senior community and common sensory losses as we age. Maloney explains "people's reaction time isn't the same as it was when they were 40 or even 50. As we age, the hearing, vision and even how fast we turn to look side to side changes. It's something everyone needs to be mindful of. Everyone should make sure they have routine physicals and checkups with their doctors."

Maloney tells WOBM News she will be in touch with both the County Engineer and the County Administrator about the findings and does say "Ocean has done a good job at making sure the timing of the lights and the signals are in plain view and can give the person an advantage while on foot."

Maloney adds "we will continue to provide educational programs and look closer into more outreach options."

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is a non-profit organization working toward a more balanced, transit-friendly and equitable transportation system in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

You can see the full report at tstc.org

For more information on the Office of Senior Services visit co.ocean.nj.us/seniorservicesmainpage.aspx

Residents are encouraged to call (732) 929-2091 or toll-free 1-877-222-3737 for information on available services and programs.