New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials hosted the first of three Safety Summits to develop the New Jersey 2020 Strategic Highway Safety Plan (2020 SHSP). The goal of the SHSP is to reduce the number of crashes and eliminating deaths across state and local road system. The unifying theme will be Driving Toward Zero Deaths. The development of the 2020 SHSP is a collaborative effort between state and local transportation agencies, law enforcement, emergency response, academia, healthcare, and other public and private sector transportation organizations working together. The Summit aims to establish a comprehensive, forward-thinking plan that includes educational strategies to build public awareness of enhanced safety practices and offer ideas for potential infrastructure improvements.
“Safety is our top priority,” NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “In order to continue the goal ‘toward zero deaths’ on all of New Jersey’s roads, we need a blueprint for strategic action. The three Summits provide the opportunity to create partnerships and collaborative efforts toward improving safety and reducing injuries and fatalities on our highways.” Today’s Summit brought together the leaders of six state agencies and other transportation professionals. They included NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti; NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety Director Eric Heitmann; NJ State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick J. Callahan; NJ Department of Health Acting Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli; NJ Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Lamont O. Repollet; and NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator B. Sue Fulton. Members of the public were also invited to share their insight.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) mandates that every five years the SHSP plan be reevaluated. The prior plan was completed in 2015. The new plan will be implemented statewide to increase safety and reduce roadway deaths over the next five years. Two more Summits will be held in 2020 with dates to be determined. The 2020 SHSP website is: www.saferoadsforallnj.com