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.
TROUBLING TREND—ROAD SAFETY SETBACKS AMID PANDEMIC
Nearly 218,000 motor vehicle crashes occurred in the NJTPA region in 2019, with 333 resulting in fatalities. The region experienced a slow, but steady decline in crashes for nearly a decade until 2015 when the number of crashes began fluctuating year to year.
Statewide in 2019 there were 524 fatal crashes resulting in 558 fatalities. This includes 289 drivers, 81 passengers, 176 pedestrians and 12 cyclists.
Preliminary data for the region in 2020 shows fatal crashes increased, despite a dramatic plunge in VMT that occurred as a result of COVID-19 stay-at-home protocols. Total crash fatalities increased to 367 and pedestrian fatalities spiked to 121, an increase of more than 20 percent over 2019 pedestrian fatalities.
Motorists represent the largest segment of roadway users injured and killed in motor vehicle crashed in the state and region, but pedestrians remain the most vulnerable road users. Efforts to reduce risks for these vulnerable roadway users, such as the NJTPA’s Street Smart NJ and the Local Safety Program can help to drive down crashes and the resulting injuries and fatalities in participating communities. However, 873 pedestrians were killed in NJ from 2015 through 2019— zero is the only acceptable number.
In 2020, the NJTPA collaborated with partners from federal, state, regional, county, local, public and private agencies to update the statewide Strategic Highway Safety Plan
, which establishes a framework of emphasis areas and strategies for implementing safety improvements over the next five years. 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 uses Safety Conscious Planning, which integrates safety into all phases of transportation improvement planning and development.
The NJTPA continues to focus on important engineering projects to improve safety outcomes, including on-going safety related initiatives such as the Local Safety Program
, which administers federal funds for safety 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. Among other safety-related programs at the NJTPA:
- The NJTPA monitors progress in meeting safety targets as part of performance-based planning.
- NJTPA supports and promotes complete streets which are streets designed for all users, all modes of transportation, and all ability levels.
- In partnership with NJDOT, NJTPA offers Road Safety Audits to towns and counties in the NJTPA region.
- NJTPA's seeks to improve safety in goods movement including studying hazards involving truck parking and rail grade crossings.
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.
For additional information on regional and state safety plans, organizations and initiatives, click here