HILLSBOROUGH - Seven years ago today, the state Department of Transportation declared Routes 1, 9, 22, 46 and several others Safe Corridors. The program raised ticket fees on portions of 12 state highways and used the money to pay for engineering and other changes to reduce accident rates.

A Gannett New Jersey review of data comparing 2004 with 2009, the latest statistics available, shows an overall decline in accidents on those roads.

There was a 10 percent drop on a section of Route 46 in Morris County and a 16 percent decrease in crashes on Route 22 in Somerset, Union and Essex counties. The largest section, 30 miles of Route 9 from Ocean to Middlesex County, had a 4.25 percent decline.

However, accidents on Route 206 in Somerset County went up 10 percent. A busy section of Route 1 from South Brunswick to Edison also saw a small increase in accidents.

Officials say distracted driving because of electronic devices is a factor in why some accident numbers went up.

New Jersey State Department of Transportation Safe Corridors

AP wire services contributed to this report.