The Traffic Safety Division’s objective is to enhance the safe and expeditious movement of traffic throughout the County. This is achieved by way of the many avenues in traffic safety, which include engineering, education and enforcement. Officers assigned to this unit are versed in all aspects of traffic safety and serve as advisors on numerous highway safety committees throughout the State, which include the New Jersey State Traffic Officers Association, Bergen County Traffic Officers Association, Bergen County Highway Safety Advisory Committee, Bergen County Fatal Accident Review Board and as traffic safety advisors for numerous charitable organizations which host events throughout the County (i.e. American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society, Special Olympics, etc).
Since 1971 (State v. Horn) the County Police have been vested with the authority to enforce overweight and dimensional vehicle violations and is the primary agency for the enforcement of these statutes within the County. The Officers assigned to truck enforcement unit are certified by New Jersey Office of Weights and Measures as Weighmaster’s. The primary objective of this unit is to prevent oversize vehicles from damaging the infrastructure of the County’s road and bridge system.
COMMERCIAL VEHICLE INSPECTION
The Officers assigned to this unit are certified as Commercial Vehicle Inspectors. These Officers regularly inspect commercial vehicles to ensure compliance of safety regulations. In the event of a serious or fatal motor vehicle crash these Officers respond to weigh and inspect the involved vehicles. Scheduled inspections of County and Municipal owned vehicles are also performed.
The Traffic Unit calibrates the speedometers of over 100 municipal and county police vehicles utilizing the dynamometer in the County Police garage on a monthly basis. This certifies the accuracy of the vehicles speed readings for the purpose of speed enforcement.
DRIVER TRAINING PROGRAMS
A driver safety program was established in 1986 in conjunction with the Municipal Joint Insurance Fund to provide a comprehensive defensive driving program for municipal employees. Subsequently the County Police have vastly increased their driver training programs to include driver training for Vocational School students, charitable organizations (i.e. New Concepts for Living ...), Tactical Police Driving for municipal police officers and a commercial driver license course. Also in response to an inordinate number of motor vehicle fatalities involving senior citizens an Older Driver Safety Program was developed and attended by over a thousand senior citizens throughout the County. Additionally, the Traffic Unit is responsible for keeping statistics involving motor vehicle fatalities and collating fatal accident reports.
The Traffic Unit conducts speed surveys along the 462 miles of county roads as requested by municipalities through the Bergen County Engineer’s Office. These surveys are done to establish the speed limits along county roads. In response to the local authorities concerns for traffic safety and in conjunction with the municipal police the unit provides a radar trailer, which displays the motorists speed and/or a variable message sign to advise motorists to conform to traffic laws. Subsequently, selective enforcement details are conducted along these roadways to ensure compliance of speed regulations.
The Officers assigned to Traffic Safety are certified in work zone safety and attend pre-construction meetings involving highway construction projects within the County. Officer’s then monitor these work zones to ensure compliance of the traffic control plan and ensure the safety of motorists in and around the work site.
The Officers of Traffic Safety are certified radar operators and have radar instructors who maintain the certification of the department’s operators. Instruction is also provided at the Academy for recruits and in-service. Traffic Safety conducts speed enforcement details at the high incident locations and at the request of municipal police departments along County roads. There is also selective enforcement details conducted in conjunction with the Division of Motor Vehicle under the DMV Inspection Program.
BANNERS ACROSS COUNTY ROADS
Traffic Safety advises and inspects banners placed across county roads to ensure compliance of County and State regulations. Permits are required for all banners hung across County roads and the Traffic Safety is responsible for this process.
Traffic Safety is accountable for all road closures along county roads involving special events (i.e... parades…). Assistance is provided to municipal departments for security and traffic control. Alternative routes are pre-determined to alleviate congestion during these events. The unit also serves as advisors to charitable organizations that host events within the County (i.e. Walk-a-tons, bike-a-tons...).
Traffic Safety assists other government agencies (i.e. US Secret Service, FBI…), in the planning and implementation of escorts for dignitaries. The Unit also provides escorts and ensures permit compliance for over dimensional vehicles moving throughout the county.
MOTOR VEHICLE LAWS
Traffic Safety is responsible for updating the “AAA Handbook of Common Traffic Violations”. Traffic Officers are certified to teach motor vehicle laws at the Police Academy.
OFFICE OF HIGHWAY SAFETY
Traffic Safety works in conjunction with the Office of Highway Safety to coordinate safety programs and grants throughout the County. Statistics are compiled towards the acquisition of federal grants to reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes and injuries. Officers also act as laisons to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety.
TRAFFIC INCIDENT MANAGEMENT
The County Police served as the lead agency in the development of the Bergen County Traffic Incident Management Plan, which is the coordinated effort of the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association, Bergen County Traffic Officers Association and the New Jersey Department of Transportation. This plan is a comprehensive manual of diversion routes for every state highway in the county and is the model being utilized throughout the State. The design of this plan is to reduce congestion through improved communications and efficient use of available resources. The County Police respond to all incidents to improve the efficiency of the transportation network so as to alleviate congestion, reduce fuel consumption and pollution, effectively reduce congestion related delays, enhance motorist safety, and amplify overall mobility such that the productivity and economic competitiveness of the County of Bergen is accentuated.
MUNICIPAL COURT LIAISON
Officers assigned to the Traffic Safety Division possess the following certifications; Radar Operator, Weighmasters License, Commercial Vehicle Inspector, Work Zone Safety Certification, Vehicle Operations Certification and Dynamometer Certification.
MOTOR VEHICLE FATALITIES
Maintain statistical information on the number of motor vehicle fatalities and generate a monthly/yearly report
TRAFFIC OFFICERS ASSOCIATIONS
Traffic Unit represents the Department at the monthly meetings of the New Jersey State Traffic Officers Association and Bergen County Traffic Officers Association.
The Trafic Safety Unit supplements the patrol division in their efforts to increase the safe and expeditious movement of traffic and improve the quality of life in the County of Bergen.
Periodic checks of vehicle impound yards, review of towing contracts, inspection of drivers and equipment. Provide for the removal of abandoned vehicles at impound yards (junk title).