NJ among first in U.S. with in-cab alerts for commercial truckers
The New Jersey Department of Transportation recently announced a partnership with Intelligent Imaging Systems, its subsidiary Drivewyze, and transportation analytics company INRIX to deliver real-time traffic alerts to commercial truck drivers.
Along with a pre-existing system that similarly uses location services to clue in drivers to approaching traffic troubles, NJDOT spokesman Steve Schapiro said the ultimate goal is zero deaths on Garden State roadways.
Nearly 30% of all crashes in the U.S. happen on interstates, according to NJDOT, and so the commercial vehicle alerts are being made available on 647 miles of New Jersey highway, inclusive of the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey Turnpike, and Atlantic City Expressway.
"People don't realize that a fully loaded tractor-trailer traveling 65 miles an hour takes approximately 66% longer to stop than a passenger car," Schapiro said. "Getting this alert two to three miles in advance gives (truckers) plenty of notice, plenty of time to safely slow down and stop if necessary, to help avoid a collision."
New Jersey said it is one of the first states in the country to implement this in-cab innovation which, like the 511NJConnect initiative, works as a subscription service.
"We use geolocated technology to send these alerts to anybody who is subscribing to the system, and so they'll get that information and be able to slow down," Schapiro said.
Preparing for a slowdown can be as much mental as it is physical, according to Schapiro.
"You see a sea of red lights in front of you, and you have to hit the brakes and get stopped pretty quickly, so this is a system that will give that advance notice," he said.
And especially during the winter months, Schapiro advises all motorists, in all situations, to put their cell phones down and focus on driving.
He also reminds drivers not to interfere with snow plows and to slow down or move over, if possible, to accommodate stopped traffic on the shoulder.
Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.