No Guardrail at Spot on I-78 Where NJ Police Officer Died in Crash - NBC New York
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No Guardrail at Spot on I-78 Where NJ Police Officer Died in Crash

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    Officials Respond to Missing Guardrails After I-Team Report

    Officials are responding after the I-Team uncovered missing guardrails at the crash scene where a New Jersey police officer was killed. Pei-Sze Cheng reports. 

    (Published Friday, June 2, 2017)

    A wrong-way crash on I-78 in New Jersey that killed an off-duty police officer happened in one of the few spots on the highway without a guardrail or physical barrier, the I-Team has discovered, raising questions about why the area was unprotected.

    “Probably 95 percent of 78 has some sort of [barrier] that physically prevents a driver from crossing over,” said Joseph Staiger, an engineer with Dynamic Traffic, LLC and an expert in New Jersey highway design and rules.

    Summit police officer Matthew Tarentino, a father of two with a child on the way, was heading to work Tuesday morning when a car crossed over the grassy median in Bernards Township and hit him head on. Tarentino and one person in the other car died.

    “[A guardrail] certainly would have prevented this accident,” Staiger said.

    No Guardrails at Site Where NJ Officer Was Killed

    [NY] No Guardrails at Site Where NJ Officer Was Killed

    No guardrails were at the part of I-78 where a 29-year-old New Jersey police officer and father of two young boys was killed in a three-car accident on his way to work this week. A guardrail may have prevented the tragedy. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

    (Published Wednesday, May 31, 2017)

    But the New Jersey Department of Transportation pointed out to News 4 New York that the median doesn’t meet a key specification.

    “The NJDOT Roadway Design Manual requires median guide rail on high speed, access controlled highways, such as Interstate highways, where the median width is 60-feet or less from the inside shoulder/edge line on one side, across the median to the inside shoulder/edge line on the other.” a spokesman said in a statement.

    “The location of the crash on I-78 has a median width of approximately 80 feet, therefore median guiderail is not required,” the spokesman said.

    Despite the NJDOT requirements, however, the I-Team found guardrails on sections of the I-78 median that are wider than 60 feet.

    Even though the guardrail was not technically required, Staiger said installing it would have made sense, “being that there are relatively short sections where there is no physical barrier.”

    Bernards Township Police Chief Brian Bobowicz, who responded to the crash, told the I-Team it should be a wake-up call for a guardrail to be installed.

    Calls for Hearing After Report Exposes Lack of Signs in NJ

    [NY] Calls for Hearing After Report Exposes Lack of Signs in NJ

    A New Jersey lawmaker is calling for a legislative hearing a day after an I-Team investigation exposed a lack of required highway signs in the state. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

    (Published Wednesday, May 24, 2017)

    “I can only hope to ask DOT to be reflective of the tragic loss of two lives in one accident,” he said.

    “I think this one accident is terrible enough to ask the DOT to take a hard second look and turn something negative into something positive use this is a catalyst for positive change and install some safety measure.”

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