|Atlantic County Government
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
Office of Highway Safety
At the request of Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson, The Atlantic County Association of Chiefs of Police, NJ State Police and the Atlantic County Highway Safety Task Force are developing a Traffic Enforcement Project, that will include DUI checkpoint & aggressive driving grant funds from the NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety, as well as the active participation of our county police agencies.
The Chiefs and the Task Force are proposing the formation of a Traffic Enforcement Task Force.
The group will identify major arteries and corridors which represent the highest fatal/injury rates for motorists and other high crash locations throughout the county.
Based on crash data reports from the different municipalities, an enforcement plan will be developed. The project goal will be to reduce traffic collisions and provide concentrated patrol and police presence on the most dangerous roadways in Atlantic County. It will include coordination of normal police patrols and at special times, designated multiple agencies saturating a particular roadway.
Participants in this program will be the Chiefs Association, the Prosecutor's Office, the Highway Safety Task Force, the Office of Highway Safety, as well as participating police jurisdictions and the New Jersey State Police Tactical Patrol Unit.
At the urging of Atlantic County Government, the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety has awarded a DUI checkpoint grant to the prosecutor's office and aggressive driving enforcement grants to police departments in Mullica Township, Egg Harbor City and Galloway Township along the Route 30 Corridor and Hamilton Township and Egg Harbor Township on Route 40.
Also, at the specific request of County Executive Levinson, New Jersey State Police have agreed to assign a Tactical Patrol Unit to provide concentrated enforcement on Route 30 through Mullica Township, Egg Harbor City and Galloway Township at a minimum of three times a week.
Atlantic County, working with MPH Industries Inc., will have 6 combination message boards and speed trailers to be utilized in conjunction with these enforcement activities which will begin in mid-May and last through mid-September.
The Highway Safety Task Force is recommending that several of the speed trailers be placed along the Route 30 and Route 322/40 Corridors - in different municipal jurisdictions, at different times and places, east & west along the White Horse Pike. This is in cooperation with local police traffic enforcement efforts.
The Task Force is also recommending a flashing sign along Route 30 where the medians end, with the message "NO MEDIANS BEYOND THIS POINT-DRIVE CAREFULLY".
Trailers would also be placed at those high collision locations (other than Rt. 30 & 40) identified by the Highway Safety Task Force in its 2001 Traffic Crash Report. The report identifies by municipality, those roadways and intersections with the highest number of collisions.
The speed trailers would be physically assigned to specific municipalities and shared with neighboring communities.
Record keeping would be the responsibility of the municipality utilizing the radar trailer and would be shared with the County and the NJ Div. of Highway Traffic Safety.
As part of this traffic enforcement initiative, there will be a major public awareness and education campaign involving newspapers, radio and television.
Through this traffic enforcement initiative it is our goal to save lives and reduce the numbers of crash related injuries throughout Atlantic County.
In 2001, Atlantic County led New Jersey in traffic fatalities with 68 compared with 41 deaths in 2000, the largest number of fatals in our county in 14 years. Inattention and unsafe speed was a factor in 18 deaths countywide. Drunk driving deaths are up 64 percent. Thirty eight deaths occurred on state roadways throughout the county.
In addition there were 14,490 traffic crashes in 23 municipalities compared with 13,687 crashes in 2000. The number of DWI arrests went from 2,257 in 2000, to 2,448 in 2001.
In 2001, from May through August, 38 people were killed in traffic crashes in Atlantic County. Thirty-four percent of all DWI crashes occurred during this same period. Fifty-two per cent of all fatals occurred on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Sixty-five percent of all DWI Crashes occurred on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. The greatest number of crashes occurred at around 1 AM.
Last year more than 32 million people visited Atlantic City, taxing our major arteries and roadways that were never built to handle this amount of traffic. The municipalities that border the Route 30 and Route 322/40 Corridors have been overwhelmed in their efforts to handle the traffic going to and from Atlantic City.