The New Jersey Department of Transportation recently awarded $1.4 million in Highway Safety Fund Program grants to 54 municipalities statewide to support designated “Safe Corridor” highway segments.
[Above photo by New Jersey DOT]
“The Highway Safety Fund provides grants to local law enforcement, helping ensure they have the tools they need to keep our roads safe,” noted Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, the agency’s commissioner, in a statement.
The fiscal support for the Highway Safety Fund Program comes through fines doubled in designated Safe Corridors for a variety of moving violations, including speeding, she added.
“The funding provides resources necessary for local governments to achieve their safety objectives without burdening local property taxpayers,” Gutierrez-Scaccetti said.
New Jersey DOT designates specific “Safe Corridors” based on crash data, traffic volume, and other highway safety criteria, allowing the agency to direct more fiscal resources to corridors exhibiting the greatest need for continued enhanced enforcement measures.
The agency said municipalities could use those grants to purchase enforcement equipment, including police vehicles, radar equipment, computer hardware and software, and to provide for special enforcement details.
State DOTs across the country are working on a variety of “Safe Corridor” initiatives as a way to reduce driver behaviors that could cause vehicle crashes.
For example, the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio State Highway Patrol teamed over the last several years to establish two safety corridors that specifically seek to reduce distracted driving-related crashes as well as fatalities and injuries resulting from those crashes.
Distracted driving is an increasing problem on U.S. roadways, with crashes involving a distracted driver killing 3,142 people in 2019 – the latest year for which data is available – which is up nearly 10 percent from 2018.