Route 539 Traffic Safety Initiative Starts July 20  

Jul 19, 2017

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato has announced that his Route 539 safety enforcement initiative will get on the road again to remind drivers to drive responsibly. The detail will run from Thursday, July 20, to Sunday, Aug. 6.

“The  detail has managed to raise significant awareness among the motoring public regarding the safety issues along Route 539, but more important it led to coordinated efforts by Ocean County law enforcement, Ocean County engineering and road departments to take important steps toward making commuting along the roadway safer,” said Coronato. 

“Sadly, on Sept. 17, 2016, a month after completing last year’s enforcement detail, three people lost their lives in a fatal crash on Route 539 in Little Egg Harbor Township. With the increased summer traffic volume, I don’t want to see a repeat of that tragedy.”

The initiative covers the mostly rural route between Tuckerton and Plumsted Township, and encompasses seven municipal jurisdictions traversing 38 miles of roadway. These include Tuckerton and Little Egg Harbor, Stafford, Barnegat and Lacey townships.

“The many partners involved in past efforts are being brought together again to serve as a visible reminder that the responsibility of driving safety never ends,” he said. “Though the coordinated enforcement element will conclude in August, policing agencies will continue to make it a priority. Now that the partnership logistics and plans have been worked out, the coordinated enforcement element can be quickly reinstituted in the event of increased reports of accidents or dangerous driving behaviors.”

He said the enforcement element of the initiative will bring vigilant and aggressive enforcement of all those motor vehicle moving and equipment violations that are major causes of crashes. These causes include, but are not limited to, improper passing, excessive speed, driving while under the influence, aggressive driving, improper turning, failing to yield, inattentive driving, disregard of traffic signal, and following too close.

“Additionally, as part of the enforcement efforts, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office personnel assigned to the detail will utilize unmarked police vehicles to report any aggressive and erratic driving to operating marked units,” Coronato said. All policing agencies are encouraged to utilize patrol vehicles equipped with automated license plate readers, and variable message signs will be strategically placed along the roadway.”

The engineering aspect of the initiative has to date completed many of the below proposed safety improvements:

1. Rumble strips: Reduces centerline crossover motor vehicle accidents often caused by sleepy motorists or those traveling at excessive speeds.

2. Raised pavement markers: These markers are fairly common on roadways today and are designed to increase nighttime visibility. They are typically placed along the center lines of a roadway and reflect the light from a motor vehicle’s headlights to outline the lanes of a highway in rural areas.

3. All-weather reflective striping: Makes the lines on a roadway easier to see at night (like a cat’s eyes), particularly in bad weather conditions.

4. Radar-activated LED (light-emitting diode) chevron signs placed in clusters at curves and will light up in a synchronous pattern when a motor vehicle approaches to outline the sharpness of the curve.

5. High-friction road surface designed to prevent a vehicle from skidding when its driver attempts to stop suddenly from a high rate of speed.

The education element will also continue to include signage, media postings, radio public service announcements, awareness posters and coordinated social media postings by all partnering agencies.

— Eric Englund


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