1.The Legislature finds and declares:
a.every year almost 5,000 pedestrians are killed in automobile accidents in the United States, accounting for roughly 12 percent of all persons killed in motor vehicle crashes;
b.in New Jersey, from 1996 to 2001, the number of pedestrian fatalities declined by an average of seven percent per year; but this promising trend ended in 2002 when the number of pedestrian deaths in the State increased 26 percent from 2001;
c.the 183 pedestrian fatalities in 2002 constitute 23 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the State, the highest rate since 1993; and
d.therefore, it is fitting and appropriate that this State assess the safety of its intersections and take steps to increase the safety of its pedestrians.