By Assemblyman Joseph Vas
With the new school session quickly approaching, and the increase of drivers on the road as a result, the one issue that stands out in my mind is Transportation Safety. While I know there is a slight decrease in drivers on the road due to continuously increasing gas prices, safety is still a concern.
Did you know that New Jerseyans spend roughly $9.3 billion per year on car accidents alone? In the past year, 724 New Jerseyans died and 95,475 sustained injures as a result of car accidents. According to the New Jersey State Police, 252 fatalities have already occurred in 2008. The aftermath of car crashes has a devastating effect on the mental and physical health of family and friends.
One of my intentions this upcoming Fall Session is to work with colleagues and transportation safety organizations to develop safer road laws for children and young adults. The challenges we face include the creation of these laws, enforcement of restrictions, and the reduction of fatalities. Currently in the state legislature, there are more than forty bills related to New Jersey Transportation Safety, these bills range from school bus safety to drunk driving. The need to create laws that focus on drunk driving, seatbelt safety, and driving distractions is more important than ever.
There are several safety resources in New Jersey to help regulate transportation. These include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety (NJDHTS), and New Jersey State Safe Council. Together we can combine our resources to create a more comprehensive safety plan. With safety being the main concern of all involved, there is no reason why we cannot change the current state of safety on our roadways.
Not only are we going to face transportation safety this upcoming session, but we are going to have to look into funding the Transportation Trust Fund. This fund is allocated throughout New Jersey to repair roads and bridges. Unfortunately, this fund will soon run dry. Therefore, we need to come up with a newer and better plan to help pay for this fund. I will be working with my colleagues to develop a plan to better suit New Jerseyans needs. New Jersey needs to understand we need safer roadways and bridges for drivers on the roads.
As an Assemblyman of the 19th Legislative District, I am determined to continue to preserve and improve the existing transportation system. I am hopeful that New Jersey will continue to ensure that our roadways and highways are maintained. Middlesex County has one of the largest populations in New Jersey, and I want to ensure the safety and optimal traveling conditions for all motorists and citizens.
Please feel free to contact my district office at 276 Hobart Street in Perth Amboy at (732) 324-5955 or via e-mail at AsmVas@njleg.org, should you have any questions, concerns or proposals regarding legislative matters.
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