New Jersey lawmakers are proposing the state create a Vision Zero task force in order to meet their goal of zero traffic deaths by 2035.
The task force would entail 21 people appointed by the governor and legislative leadership who would study all aspects of traffic safety with a focus on access, equity, and mobility for everyone using the roads. It would also advise the governor, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), and Legislature on policies and programs aimed at reducing traffic deaths and injuries.
Vision Zero is a nationwide campaign aiming to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries.
The proposed bill comes after a rise in traffic deaths. According to the New Jersey State Police, there has been 526 fatalities on the road this year, compared to 479 in 2021.
The measure is set to be heard Thursday in the Senate Transportation Committee.
“New Jersey is the country’s most densely populated state and among our nation’s most traveled. Continued efforts to evaluate traffic safety and transportation system designs with the goal of reducing crashes must be a top priority for residents of and visitors to our state,” bill sponsors Sen. Patrick Diegnan and Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak, said in a statement.
The measure would also provide advice and assistance to municipalities and counties looking to implement their own traffic policies.
Jersey City was the first municipality in the Garden State to adopt Vision Zero in 2019, and traffic deaths are down 40% compared to last year, according to the city’s mayor, Steve Fulop.
“A Vision Zero task force on the state-level is critical to expand upon these efforts and would devote the resources and attention needed to achieve safer streets for all road users across the entire state,” Fulop said when the bill was introduced in June.
Hoboken also implemented a Vision Zero policy, and the city hasn’t seen a traffic death in four years.
The task force would be required to submit an annual report of their findings before the third Sunday in November each year.
Source: New Jersey Monitor