New Jersey Car Accidents and the "Safe Corridor" Program

The Safe Corridors Program in New Jersey was supposed to make New Jersey's highways safer. However, some stretches of roadway not in the program saw an increase in car accidents in 2009.

Begun in 2004, the program designated stretches of highways that were particularly dangerous to motorists based on crash rates, fatalities, traffic volume and traffic offenses and citations. Fines were doubled for traffic offenses in the designated areas to produce funding for engineering and road maintenance.

Evaluation of Safe Corridors Program

A Gannett New Jersey evaluation of the program compared data collected in 2004 to the most recent available data from 2009.

The review did show an overall decline in accidents in the Safe Corridors. But the uptick in accidents in 2009 is troubling, and the progress compared to 2004 has not been uniform. For example, accidents on Route 206 in Somerset County increased.

Fatal Crashes in New Jersey

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration keeps detailed public records of traffic crashes for each state. In New Jersey, there were 583 traffic fatalities in 2009. Though this was the lowest number since 2005, 583 is still a lot of deaths. Indeed, each of those deaths is a tragedy for the families concerned.

In short, the Safe Corridors is only a start. There is still much to be done, however, to reduce the number of accidents on New Jersey highways.

Improved highway engineering and road maintenance are important factors in this goal. So are confronting distracted driving, drunk driving, and other causes of crashes.