Walking in the Street

Industry Update: Why do Jersey beachgoers keep walking out into traffic?

It’s a typical beach day out on Atlantic Avenue, which means the usual pedestrian chaos. Beachgoers crossing the many streets without traffic lights assume the cars will stop: The 2010 law tells them the vehicles must. Some families lead with the stroller, toddler on the dad’s shoulders, an older sibling stumbles, stops and goes back for an errant flip-flop. Boogie boards are used as shields, umbrellas and chairs balanced under arms. Ready, set, cross.

Sometimes the cars stop, sometimes they speed up to get by first. Sometimes one lane stops and the other doesn’t. Sometimes pedestrians are caught mid-cross. Sometimes, in Margate or Ventnor, which have two lanes in each direction on Atlantic, the cars come from behind the stopped car and head into the intersection. Sometimes there are rear-end crashes.

This all is driving Longport Mayor Nick Russo nuts. “Whatever happened to look both ways?” he lamented.

Russo wants repeal of the law, passed in April 2010, nine months after Casey Feldman, 21, was struck and killed by a van while crossing on Central Avenue in Ocean City. “We’ve done a pretty good job of educating drivers,” he said. “We need to do better with pedestrians.”

Read the full article here:

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Aquatics Safety SIgns

Water Safety Signs for Kids

Who can predict what kids will or won’t pay attention to? Along with my wife, I helped to raise four children, now all in their 20s, and each one of them approaches life differently. Predicting what they will pay attention to and how they will act was (and still is!) impossible. But that knowledge doesn’t stop Clarion from creating safety signage for places, like pools and beaches, where children will be present.

A couple of years ago, working alongside Dr. Tom Griffiths of the Aquatic Safety Research Group, we designed a set of pool safety signs that prominently display colorful ISO-formatted safety symbols. The goal of the symbols was, first and foremost, to catch the attention of people, adults and children alike. It’s sort of obvious to state, but a safety sign is useless if it goes unnoticed. And THAT is the situation with the vast majority of aquatic safety signage in use today. Typically these signs are nothing more than “list of rules” that use only words, no symbols. People – adults and children – walk right by them, not giving them the time of day. My guess is that everyone that enters these environments has other things on their mind and it, quite literally, takes too much time to read these signs, so no heed is paid to them.

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Truck Pedestrian Accident

Video Reveals What Really Happened with Tractor-Trailer / Pedestrian Accident

Steven M. Schorr, P.E., President of DJS Associates ::::

Increasingly, the data available to review as part of a collision reconstruction includes video, sometimes obtained from nearby surveillance cameras, and sometimes acquired from the vehicles themselves.

Many commercial vehicles are equipped with event data recorders in the form of a camera that captures different views as the vehicle proceeds along. Depending on the equipment, the data is either recorded continuously, or the camera is manually activated by the operator, or recording is activated by a defined sudden deceleration threshold.

Recently, we were provided with a video from a truck which showed a passenger vehicle on the right shoulder with its flashers on and its hood up. The daytime video showed a pedestrian suddenly emerge from behind the raised hood of the vehicle on the shoulder, and moved directly into the path of the approaching truck. The pedestrian was struck by the right front/center of the truck. Although the conclusion as to how the collision occurred seemed obvious, we were tasked with evaluating the event from a collision reconstruction perspective, i.e., what were the factors that led to this event and, in this case, were there any additional causal factors other than the actions of the pedestrian.

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Zipper Merge

Just Zip It

Nancy L. Weocur, Engineering Assistant/Research Coordinator ::::

Some drivers call it rude (along with other terms) when a driver cuts into their lane at the last minute, but one study after another is showing that the “zipper merge” is the best way to move cars from two lanes into one. Learn more at or watch the video below –

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WaterSlide - Aquatics Safety Expert

Belly First Down the Waterslide

Thomas J. Griffiths, Ed.D., Aquatic Safety Expert ::::

A young mother took her two children to a family leisure pool with water slides at a mid-western aquatic facility. According to her testimony, after taking a few successful slides down a large, fast waterslide, the woman asked the lifeguard on duty if she could go down the waterslide laying on her stomach. Although her testimony was that the lifeguard said she could go down the slide in this inappropriate and unsafe manner, the lifeguard on duty denied it. Also, the large signs posted at the slide clearly stated that all riders should be seated in an upright position, or laying down on their backs; all other riding positions were prohibited. Since the woman slid down the slide blindly, with her face towards the flume, she was unable to see when she would be discharged into the shallow water and could not prepare for impact by flexing her knees.

Lessons learned: Waterslides are designed for safety. With lifeguards positioned both at the top and the bottom of the each slide, they are typically very safe. Most slide injuries are caused by rider misbehavior. Perhaps the most significant finding in this case was the woman signed a waiver prior to entering the waterpark releasing the aquatic facility of responsibility if she became injured during her use of the facility.

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Crane Accident Expert

Pedal to the Metal

Thomas J. Cocchiola, PE, CSP, Mechanical Engineer ::::

Case Synopsis: An experienced crane operator was instructed to hoist and load 36-foot long steel rails onto the back of a flatbed truck. He had previously operated the crane to load rails many times without incident. The operator was using a hydraulically powered crane mounted to the back of the flat bed truck. The truck-mounted crane had an elevated operator compartment with control levers to extend/retract the boom and foot pedal controls for rotating the crane.

The accident occurred while the operator was hoisting and loading the very first rail of the day. He maneuvered the boom over the rail, hoisted it off the ground and rotated the crane to position the rail above the truck bed. The operator removed his foot from the pedal, which should have immediately stopped the crane rotation. Instead, the crane unexpectedly continued rotating and the rail collided with the operator compartment. The force of impact caused the operator to fall out of the crane and sustain injuries.

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