Making travel safer is a top priority at the NJTPA and it is factored into all aspects of our transportation planning and investment decision-making. The NJTPA analyzes regional crash data and trends to ensure transportation funds are used to improve the safety and reliability of critical infrastructure.
CRASH STATS—A TROUBLING UPTICK
Approximately 209,000 motor vehicle crashes occurred in the NJTPA region in 2017, with 348 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 the number of crashes began increasing again. Preliminary data for 2018 shows fatal crashes are again declining, however even one fatality is too many.
Statewide in 2018 there were 527 fatal crashes resulting in 566 fatalities. This includes 278 drivers, 96 passengers, 176 pedestrians and 16 cyclists.
Motorists represent the largest segment of roadway users injured 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, 870 pedestrians were killed in NJ from 2014 through 2018— zero is the only acceptable number.
The NJTPA also partners with its subregions; local, county and state agencies; the Transportation Management Associations (TMAs); safety and public health organizations; academic institutions; and other entities to improve pedestrian safety through its Street Smart NJ
The NJTPA takes a proactive approach to preventing crashes by using Safety Conscious Planning, which integrates safety into all phases of transportation improvement planning and development.
Among the NJTPA’s on-going safety related initiatives is the Local Safety Program
, which administers federal funds for improvements at high-crash locations on local roads. The NJTPA’s High Risk Rural Roads Program
provides set-aside federal safety funds to address travel safety needs in rural areas. The NJTPA has invested more than $164 million into 131 projects since the Local Safety and High Risk Rural Roads programs began.
Below are 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.
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.
- Eight 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.
- The Middlesex County Comprehensive Traffic Safety Website is a one-stop shop for all traffic and pedestrian safety measures and information within the County.