NJ TRANSIT is joining with the National Safety Council in recognizing National Safety Month during the month of June and is using the time of heightened awareness to promote a lifesaving partnership with Waze, which identifies the location of grade crossings on their mobile app throughout the state.
The new Waze feature will automatically alert drivers while using the traffic navigation mobile app that they are nearing a railroad crossing. The warning will appear as a banner on Waze informing the driver of the upcoming crossing and reminding them to proceed with caution. Waze made the decision to add railway crossings to their maps following recommendations from the U.S. Senate and the U.S. National Safety Administration, with help from the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) publicly available database of crossings across the nation to reduce railroad crossing fatalities.
“NJ TRANSIT continues to implement additional mitigation layers systemwide to further increase the level of safety for our customers, employees and all areas in which we operate,” said NJ TRANSIT Sr. VP and Chief Safety Officer Brian Lapp. “As our society becomes more and more dependent on technology, partnerships like the one with Waze can bring enhanced safety awareness of NJ TRANSIT operations directly to motorists and is an integral addition to compound upon the many other mitigation strategies we already have in place to improve safety for motorists and NJ TRANSIT customers alike.”
In many cases, the greatest safety issues at railroad crossings stem from confused or distracted drivers accidentally turning onto tracks instead of corresponding roadways, especially during inclement weather, or in darkness. The audio and visual alerts will help put motorists’ safety first by bringing attention to what lies ahead and making them aware of the potential risks associated with driving over railroad crossings.
The feature is available on iOS and Android devices.