Daylight Saving Time has ended and Montclair streets are getting darker earlier, which creates a serious danger for commuters walking home on dark streets.
Late afternoon into evening is historically the most dangerous time for pedestrians in Montclair. According to the Township, in the three years from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2015, 45% of pedestrian-vehicle crashes occurred between the hours of 3:00 and 9:00 p.m.
Wednesdays and Thursdays were the days with the highest number of crashes in Montclair and the months of December and January showed the highest reported numbers of pedestrian crashes, according to Township Engineer Kimberli Craft.
“Montclair Township strongly urges people driving in town to slow down; especially after dark when pedestrians are most at risk,” said Lt. Stephanie Egnezzo, Commander of the Montclair Police Traffic Bureau. “We remind drivers to slow down and be on the lookout for people crossing the street – especially on bus routes like Grove Street and Valley Road.”
Bus commuters are cautioned to wait for the bus to pull off before crossing the street. Stepping from behind a stopped bus may cause a collision if a driver doesn’t see you in time to stop or stops short.
“It’s the law to yield to pedestrians but in order to do so safely, the pedestrian has to be seen,” said Lt. Egnezzo. “We encourage pedestrians to make sure they can be seen by drivers when crossing the street. Simple measures like carrying a flashlight or using the flashlight app on your cell phone can help make you more visible when walking in or near the road.
Photo: Scott Stein