Long Beach Island is now part of a handful of towns participating in a 12-month pilot program aimed at increasing pedestrian safety and driver awareness in New Jersey.

Michael Heiman, Getty Images

The Street Smart NJ campaign is being conducted by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority in partnership with local law enforcement.

NJTPA spokesman David Behrend said through public awareness, grassroots community outreach and targeted law enforcement, the organization is hoping to get motorists and pedestrians to check their vital signs.

"It's really four basic signs: speed limits, stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk, and then for pedestrians, we tell them to use that marked crosswalk and to also wait for that walk signal to change," Behrend said.

Street Smart is also being piloted in Jersey City, Newark, Woodbridge and Hackettstown, where Behrend said officials saw marked improvements in both driver and pedestrian behavior. He also said camera surveillance has been set up at troubled intersections in those towns before and during the pilot program.

"Behaviors like jaywalking, or drivers who fail to let the pedestrian get through the crosswalk before they make their turn, we saw improvements of anywhere from 10 to 35 percent," Behrend said.

According to Behrend, the NJTPA chose the beachfront community because the population doubles in size during the summer, and pedestrian and bicyclist safety becomes an even greater concern. The transportation authority has decided to plaster the "Street Smart NJ" message around two shuttle buses that travel the entire length of LBI several times a day.

A press release distributed at the start of the campaign revealed that New Jersey is ranked 14th in the nation in pedestrian fatalities.

To learn more about the campaign, visit www.bestreetsmartnj.org.