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Friday, January 17, 2003

Atlantic County Highway Safety Fatal Crash Summary Report

Atlantic County saw a 19% decline in traffic deaths in 2002. Fifty-five people were killed in 48 traffic crashes in Atlantic County in 2002, compared with 68 fatals and 64 crashes in 2001.

Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson said the special Traffic Enforcement Initiative "made a big impact on the decrease in fatal motor vehicle crashes in the County in 2002."

Atlantic County's traffic safety crackdown on some of its most dangerous roads - including treacherous parts of Route 30 - resulted in a 52 percent drop in fatalities from May 20 to September 2, 2002 compared with the same period in 2001.

The most dramatic decline in highway deaths occurred on Route 30 where 7 people were killed in 2002 compared with 16 deaths in 2001.

"We reduced traffic fatalities by having local police departments pool resources to establish the state's first regional traffic safety crackdown." said Levinson. "Those traffic patrols made all the difference. Cooperation between municipalities was key to the success of this program."

There were 10 pedestrian fatalities in 2002 compared with 14 pedestrian fatalities in 2001.

According to statistics released by the Atlantic County Office of Highway Safety, 24 of the 42 victims in fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2002 did not wear safety belts. One victim was a motorcyclist.

Other contributing factors include:
- Alcohol was a contributing factor in 15 crashes, resulting in 20 deaths.
- Driver inattention was a factor in 14 crashes (four victims fell asleep at the wheel)
- Pedestrian inattention, 5 crashes. (two victims were jaywalking. One victim walked between two parked cars into the path of a truck. A 65 year old victim crossed Route 30 with a cane, but not at a light or a cross walk.
- Unsafe speed in 4 crashes. One victim, an 18 year old, was clocked at 96 MPH.
- Failure to obey a traffic signal, 2
- Failure to yield, 4. (Two victims went through Stop Signs)
- Improper lane change, 2
- Heavy rain and poor visibility, 1
- Improper lights, 1

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