Commissioner Simpson focuses on safety and infrastructure improvements in speech to truckers
(Trenton) - New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner James Simpson today encouraged truckers to help make New Jersey roads safer for all in a speech to members of the New Jersey Motor Truck Association in Somerset County.
The commissioner also discussed the ongoing and planned improvements to New Jersey roadways and bridges, benefiting all who share the roads, including truckers, and referenced efforts to reduce red tape for truckers.
“The Christie Administration has proposed a five-year Capital Transportation Plan that invests heavily in our state’s roads and bridges to make them safer for all motorists,” Simpson said. “Truck drivers amplify the benefits of our investments when they make safety their top priority every time they get behind the wheel. We will be working closely with the State Police to enforce laws against speeding and aggressive driving.”
Truck crashes on New Jersey roads have been declining in recent years, which the commissioner attributed to enforcement, awareness and capital investments to make roads smoother and safer.
Crashes involving commercial trucks on New Jersey roads have dipped by 34 percent between 2003 and 2010. There were 29,254 crashes involving trucks in 2003 and 19,242 crashes in 2010. The statistics encompass crashes involving all commercial trucks larger than pickup trucks, including trucks ranging from single-axle vehicles to tractor-trailers.
Injuries to those involved in truck crashes have also dropped statewide, from 6,778 in 2003 to 4,123 in 2010, a decrease of 39 percent.
Fatal injuries dropped 43 percent, from 107 statewide in 2003 to 61 in 2010.
NJDOT has made enormous investments to major truck routes in New Jersey over the past several years, including roadway reconstruction, bridge improvement and road surface repaving projects. On the major truck routes of I-78, I-80 and I-295, there are 15 active projects underway now with a contract value exceeding $440 million.
Five projects totaling $177 million are under way on I-78, which accommodates large numbers of trucks arriving at and departing from the ports of Elizabeth and Newark. A major project to reconstruct the roadway in Hillside, Union and Newark is in final design.
There are eight active projects on I-80 totaling $87 million, including one at the I-80/287 interchange to make safety improvements to reduce incidents of trucks overturning on ramps.
Over the past five years, much of I-295 in southern New Jersey has been repaved or reconstructed, with work stretching from Mercer to Salem counties.
In addition to these corridors, dozens of projects are under way or planned near the port areas of Elizabeth, Newark and Jersey City.