Car Accidents on the Rise in Manchester Township
A T-bone crash. A head-on collision. All in a day's work for the Manchester Township Police Department, who are dealing with a major spoke in accidents on their roadways. With double digit road death totals in the community, authorities are working on an aggressive enforcement campaign to cut the distractions and keep everyone safe.
If you're heading down Route 37 near the Toms River-Manchester border, you'll see an electronic sign that reads "warning: frequent crashes ahead." It was placed there by the Department of Transportation (DOT) since that stretch has seen its fair share of trouble this year.
Police Chief Brian Klimakowski tells Townsquare Media News "it's part of our awareness and enforcement campaign to promote good habits behind the wheel. The number of crashes, especially the serious ones, is startling. It keeps going up every year. We are working closely with our state legislators as well to see if there is something we can do with the laws."
One idea that has been proposed includes dividing Route 70 with a concrete barrier though the town. It is something that has already been done in Brick, Lakewood and part of Toms River. Route 37, 70 and even the side roads have seen hundreds of accidents this year ranging from distracted to aggressive driving. "It may also be the road itself," said Klimakowski.
The department is looking to possibly add new signage to the area. Most of the other reasons for crashes range from texting and talking on phones, GPS devices, drinking coffee, eating and even medical episodes.
The department has also increased patrols at various intersections, especially on the Manchester-Lakehurst border, which is regarded as one of the most dangerous.