New Initiative Improves Rail Crossing Safety for Drivers Using Waze

NEWARK, NJ — NJ TRANSIT is joining with the National Safety Council in recognizing National Safety Month during the month of June and is using this 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. This collaboration is paramount to the effort of effectively promoting safety awareness throughout the public transportation system.

“This new partnership with Waze will greatly enhance our efforts to keep railroad crossings safe,” said NJ TRANSIT president & CEO Kevin S. Corbett.

“NJ TRANSIT is committed to leveraging technology to improve safety, and this partnership with Waze complements our joint study with Rutgers University we announced in December to improve pedestrian detection at rail crossings. Working together, these new technologies could ultimately save lives.”

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 in an effort to reduce railroad crossing fatalities. 

“NJ TRANSIT continues to implement additional mitigation layers system-wide to further increase the level of safety for our customers, employees and all areas in which we operate,” said NJ TRANSIT SVP 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.”

“Waze's railroad crossing feature exemplifies our commitment to implementing features that keep drivers safe on the road," said Andrew Stober, Head of Public Sector Partnerships and Carpool, Waze. "We are thrilled to have partnered with NJ TRANSIT to ensure over 300 railroad crossings across the state are highlighted on the Waze map, supporting drivers by making them aware to be alert when approaching train tracks."

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.

This feature is available on iOS and Android devices.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 925,000 weekday trips on 253 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines.

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