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Two Fatal Truck Accidents in Three Hours on New Jersey Turnpike

Tractor-trailers take a terrible toll on others who share the road. Passenger car drivers often stand little chance of avoiding serious injury or death when hit by a truck. Motorcyclists and pedestrians are at great risk as well.

Earlier this month, on the New Jersey Turnpike, two fatal truck accidents occurred within only a few hours of each other. On April 5, at about 6:15 a.m., a tractor trailer hit at pedestrian in Barrington. The pedestrian was killed.

To clear the accident scene, state police had to close the southbound lanes for a period of time.

Less than three hours later, another tractor trailer ran into a passenger car in Mount Laurel, killing a person in the car. The car had slowed down due to delays caused from the earlier accident.

After colliding with the car, the truck overturned. This caused produce to spill out into the northbound lanes of the turnpike.

Authorities are investigating both accidents.

Accidents like this are a tragic reminder of the ongoing need to improve truck safety. Federal safety agencies have been working on a comprehensive improvement initiative to do that known by the acronym CSA. The initials originally stood for Comprehensive Safety Analysis. More recently, that has been changed to Compliance Safety Accountability.

The program is the biggest change in the way trucks are regulated in 30 years. It aims to gather better data and intervene sooner in order to get bad drivers off the road. Estimates place the number of drivers in that category as up to 150,000 - about five percent of the 3 million long-haul truckers in the country.

Source: "2 fatal crashes snarl NJ Turnpike traffic in South Jersey," Asbury Park Press, 4-5-11

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