Department of Transportation

Statewide Traffic Incident Management Program

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) coordinate directly on the scene of major traffic incidents, managing the state's transportation infrastructure and restoring travel lanes in a safe and expeditious manner. The Statewide Traffic Incident Management Program is a systemic tool used for the command, control and coordination of a highway emergency response. This program allows agencies to work together using common terminology and operating procedures for controlling personnel, facilities, equipment and communications at the scene of a traffic incident. Since the inception of this program, NJDOT and the NJSP have worked hard to improve New Jersey's incident management process so that delays could be minimized. The total incident duration in New Jersey has declined from an average of 2.75 hours in 1995 to approximately 44 minutes in 2019.

route 78 photo

In order to continue the effort to reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes, fatalities and other incidents that occur on New Jersey's roadways, NJDOT started an initiative to implement a Statewide Traffic Incident Management Program. Beginning in April 1993, the Incident Management Operations Group (IMOG) was formed to direct and guide the development of this program. The IMOG was established as a multi-disciplinary working group of agencies involved in traffic incident response and management. The main objective of IMOG was to enhance the state's program from a policy and operations perspective in order to provide for the safe and efficient movement of traffic in New Jersey.

Additional efforts have been made by individual agencies to address the challenges of effective traffic incident management (TIM) on a local and regional level. The goal of this TIM strategic planning initiative is to bring those efforts together and formalize coordination among all agencies involved in TIM. This initiative coordinates the resources of a number of different partner agencies and private sector companies to detect, respond to and clear traffic incidents as quickly as possible to reduce the impact of incidents on safety and congestion, while protecting the safety of on-scene responders and the traveling public.

TIM consists of a planned and coordinated multi-disciplinary process to detect, respond to and clear traffic incidents so that traffic flow may be restored as safely and quickly as possible. Effective TIM reduces the duration and impact of traffic incidents and improves the safety of motorists, crash victims and emergency responders.

The goals of TIM include:

  • Promoting the safety of motorists, crash victims and emergency responders;
  • Reducing the time for incident detection and verification;
  • Reducing response time (the time for emergency personnel and equipment to arrive at the scene);
  • Exercising proper and safe on-scene management of personnel and equipment, while keeping as many lanes as possible, open to traffic;
  • Conducting an appropriate response, investigation and safe clearing of an incident;
  • Reducing clearing time (the time required for the incident to be removed from the roadway);
  • Providing timely and accurate information to the public that enables them to make informed choices; and
  • Getting traffic moving again as soon as possible after a partial or complete roadway closure while managing the affected traffic until normal traffic conditions are restored.
TIM Training Program
The National TIM Responder Training Program was developed by responders for responders. It was designed to establish and promote the foundation for consistent training of all responders to achieve the three objectives of TIM National Unified Goal (NUG):
  • Responder safety
  • Safe, quick clearance
  • Prompt, reliable interoperable communications

New Jersey developed it's own nationally compliant TIM program in the early 2000s and has trained several thousand responders. The course provides participants with information regarding the "State of New Jersey Highway Incident Traffic Safety Guidelines for Emergency Responders."

Incident Management Response Team
A component of the NJDOT/NJSP Statewide Traffic Incident Management Program is the Incident Management Response Teams (IMRT). These specially trained teams respond to incidents which have a major impact on transportation (overturned tractor trailer, incidents involving hazardous materials, incidents causing damage to the roadway or bridge structures, fatal accidents). The IMRT provide technical, logistical and incident management support to the Incident Commander (IC), in most cases, the NJSP. The goal of the IMRT member is to keep the traffic safely moving by:

  • Setting up traffic safety devices, demarcating diversion routes and warning motorists
  • Safely and quickly restoring lanes of traffic
  • Facilitating necessary repairs and reopening the roadway

NJDOT and NJSP personnel act as facilitators for multi-agency Task Forces to develop diversion route text and maps for all state highways and interstates on a county-by-county basis to be utilized during all major incidents that completely close a roadway for an extended duration. These diversion plans help to improve traffic flow and management through better communication and more efficient use of available resources. Diversion routes are completed for all NJDOT-operated roadways in all 21 New Jersey counties.

guiderail photo

Call 911 to report an incident on a New Jersey State and/or Interstate highway.

Last updated date: October 15, 2020 1:58 PM