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New Jersey DOT offers truckers new traffic-warning service
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New Jersey DOT offers truckers new traffic-warning service

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Trucks park along the side of Interstate 90 near North Bend as Snoqualmie Pass in Kittitas County, Wash., remains closed on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. The three primary cross-state mountain passes Stevens, Snoqualmie and White are closed. Snow and rain forced the closure of parts of Washington state's two major highways — Interstate 90 and Interstate 5 — with flooding that also swamped roads throughout Western Washington and Oregon.

Commercial truckers in New Jersey will have a chance to slow down for traffic sooner as a result of a new service by the Department of Transportation.

Drivers can be alerted to congestion through in-cab traffic alerts provided by the DOT. The feature will be available on several state highways, including the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway, the department said Tuesday.

The alerts will warn of slow-moving traffic about 2 to 3 miles ahead, giving drivers additional time to slow down, the DOT said.

Officials hope drivers adhering to the warnings will help prevent crashes and make about 647 miles of state road safer.

“The ability to alert commercial vehicle drivers to unexpected traffic conditions will improve safety for everyone driving on New Jersey’s highways,” Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said in a statement Tuesday. “By warning drivers of congestion that is miles ahead, drivers of large commercial vehicles will have the extra time needed to safely slow down.”

The system was developed by Intelligent Imaging Systems and INRIX, a transportation data and analytics company. The notices are available to all carriers and drivers using the Drivewyze PreClear software, officials said.

Commercial trucks are much like trains in that they take longer to stop while traveling at higher speeds. A commercial truck usually takes 66% more time trying to stop after traveling 65 mph or more.

“The New Jersey Motor Truck Association applauds the efforts to provide advance safety alerts to commercial truck drivers via Drivewyze,” Gail Toth of the NJ Motor Trucker Association said. “These efforts will help to keep our workplace — the highways — safer for all.”

Recent data shows fatal commercial trucking accidents have increased nationwide. In 2019, 5,005 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes, a 2% increase from 2018 and a 43% increase since 2010.

Contact Eric Conklin:

609-272-7261

econklin@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressConklin

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