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Safety Planning at the NJTPA
Making travel safer is one of the fundamental goals of NJTPA’s transportation planning and investment activities. The NJTPA analyzes regional crash data and trends to ensure transportation funds are designated to ensure the safety and reliability of critical infrastructure improvements.
CRASH STATS—A TROUBLING UPTICK
Approximately 223,000 motor vehicle crashes occurred in the region in 2015, with 356 resulting in fatalities. The region had experienced a steady decline in crashes for nearly a decade, but that trend came to an end in 2015 when crashes rose 1.7 percent from 220,000 to 223,841. This increase is likely fueled by the improving economy, which is prompting increases in vehicle miles raveled not only in the region, but also across the state and nation. Crashes nationwide jumped 3.8 percent in 2015.
Despite this troubling uptick, injury-related crashes in the region continue to decline, falling from 46,268 in 2011 to 40,675 in 2015, a 12 percent improvement. Meanwhile, fatalities in the region have remained relatively constant at 356, while crashes across the state rose for the third consecutive year to 562.
Motorists represent the largest segment of roadway users injures and killed in motor vehicle crashed in the state and region, but pedestrians are at particular risk. Efforts to improve the safety of these vulnerable roadway users, such as NJTPA's
Street Smart NJ
program, are helping to drive down crashes and the resulting injuries and fatalities in participating communities. However, 236 pedestrians were killed in the region in 2014 and 2015 — zero is the only acceptable number.
In its safety planning activities, NJTPA partners with its city and county subregions as well as local, county and state agencies; the
Transportation Management Associations
(TMAs); safety and public health organizations; academic institutions; and other entities to educate all roadway users about their individual and collective roles and responsibilities for making our transportation system safer.
At the bottom of this page are numerous links to other transportation safety initiatives in the state and region. At the federal level, the
Federal Highway Administration Safety Program
seeks to reduce highway fatalities by making our roads safer by addressing all “4Es” of safety: engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency medical services.
Summary data on injury and fatal crashes from a national perspective for 2015 can be found in this
The NJTPA takes a proactive approach to the prevention of crashes by using Safety Conscious Planning. While traditional safety planning is reactive—a problem is identified through crash data analysis and then the appropriate engineering, enforcement and/or education countermeasures are implemented—Safety Conscious Planning integrates safety into all phases of transportation improvement planning and development so that safety is top of mind for all decision-making.
Among the NJTPA’s on-going safety related initiatives is the
Local Safety Program
which administers federal funds every year for improvements at high-crash locations on municipal and county roads. The emphasis is on moderate cost, short time-frame, and high impact improvements that are construction ready. The NJTPA
High Risk Rural Roads
Program provides set-aside federal safety funds to address travel safety needs in rural areas.
The NJTPA began its Street Smart NJ pedestrian safety initiative with pilot program in November 2013. The program has since expanded from its five initial pilot communities to more than 40 local partners. The campaign, a collaborative effort between public, private and non-profit organizations, urges motorists and pedestrians to “check your vital signs” to improve your safety on the road.For more information, visit the campaign website
Latest developments as of January 2017:
During November and December, efforts were conducted in North Plainfield (in coordination with RideWise TMA) and Maplewood, South Orange, Glen Ridge and Union City (in coordination with Hudson TMA). Central Staff continues to meet with communities in support of efforts led by the TMAs to implement campaigns in spring 2017. The final report for the consultant-supported 2016 campaigns will be released in January.
The NJTPA and its subregions incorporate safety conscious planning into nearly all the studies of needs and issues in the region. In 2011, the NJTPA conducted a Pedestrian Safety at and Near Bus Stops Study, which was a joint effort between the NJTPA, New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, and NJTRANSIT. The study sought to improve safety at and around bus stops within the NJTPA region. The study made engineering, education, and enforcement recommendations through its Bus Stop Safety Toolbox and Bus Stop Field Audit Reports.
Links to regional and state safety plans, organizations and initiatives:
New Jersey Strategic Highway Safety Plan
(SHSP) lays the foundation for safety programs and planning aimed at preventing crashes and the resulting injuries and fatalities at the state, county and local level.
New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety
(NJDHTS) develops, implements and/or funds statewide, county and municipal education, engineering and enforcement programs to ensure the Safe Passage of all roadway users and move toward zero fatalities.
Transportation Management Associations
(TMAs) implement programs with business, commuters, county and local governments, and state agencies to reduce traffic crashes and congestion and improve air quality.
New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police
(NJCOPA) and the
New Jersey Police Traffic Officers Association
(NJPTOA) includes representatives from state, county and municipal police and government agencies and private organizations.
New Jersey Bicycle & Pedestrian Resource Center
(BPRC) works to create a safer and more accessible walking and biking environment through research, education and best practice sharing.
New Jersey Safe Routes to School program
assists communities to identify issues, create partnerships and implement projects and programs that encourage safe walking and biking to and from school. New Jersey is also one of seven states participating in the
Safe Routes to School National Partnership
, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Transportation Safety Resource Center
(TSRC) at Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) provides technical assistance, training, data analysis, and traffic safety programs to state and local agencies.
Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey
(BIANJ) promotes the lifesaving value of helmets for bicyclists and motorcyclists, and addresses teen driver safety, the leading cause of brain injury for this age group.
AAA Clubs of New Jersey
provide educational and safety programs for motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, children, teens, and older adults.
Safe Kids New Jersey State Coalition
works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability for children ages 1 to 14.
More than 150 individual and organizational members of
New Jersey Teen Safe Driving Coalition
, a partnership of The Allstate Foundation and the National Safety Council, promote the proven principles of the state’s Graduated Driver License program.
The Middlesex County Comprehensive Traffic Safety Website
is a one-stop shop for all traffic and pedestrian safety measures and information within the County.
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