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8/7/2005
New Jersey: Doubled Fines on Freeways Increase Accidents
New Jersey's Safe Corridor program that doubles fines on problem freeways has not reduced accidents.

Safe Corridor sign
Designating freeways as "Safe Corridors" has significantly increased revenue in the past year, but it has not decreased accidents. A law enacted in July 2003 designated a number of accident-prone sections of several highways as zones where fines would be doubled for speeding and other offenses. The Courier-News discovered that accidents increased in two of the three Central Jersey "Safe Corridors." Their analysis found:
  • Accidents went up on a section of Route 22, between Orr Drive in Branchburg and King George Road in Green Brook, from 554 in 2003 to 581 in 2004.
  • Accidents increased on a section of Route 206, between South Bridge Street in Somerville and Opossum Road in Montgomery, from 422 in 2003 to 446 in 2004.
  • Accidents dropped on Route 22 between New Providence Road in Mountainside to Route 1-9 in Newark from 1,180 in 2003 to 1,163 in 2004.
An upcoming New Jersey Department of Transportation report is expected to show similar results statewide.

Article Excerpt:
"Accident prevention doesn't include raising fines," said Anthony Parenti, president of the New Jersey Traffic Safety Officers Association. "That's never proved to be a deterrent. Fixing the problem, that's a deterrent. Most police officers feel if there is a problem, fix it. Doubling fines doesn't accomplish anything."
Source: MORE ACCIDENTS RAISE DOUBTS ABOUT 'SAFE CORRIDORS' (Bridgewater, NJ Courier-News, 8/7/2005)



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