‘Goal: Zero’ aims to make New Jersey’s roadways safer for the community

There were 732 crashes on Route 9 in Monmouth County in 2023, which led to four deaths and 172 injuries.

Jim Murdoch

Apr 25, 2024, 4:31 PM

Updated 32 days ago


Close to 200 people have died on New Jersey highways so far in 2024. The numbers are up nearly 30% from 2023.
A campaign to bring those numbers down now continues in Monmouth County along Route 9.
When asked what it is like to drive on Route 9, Denise Lederman, of Marlboro replied, “Lately, crazy. Traffic is really bad since I moved here 35 years ago.”
Thursday’s targeted trouble spot was Route 9 through the towns of Howell, Freehold, Manalapan and Marlboro.
“This initiative will help people pay attention and remind them driving a car is a dangerous activity. It's not just something we do when we wake up, like brushing our teeth or taking a shower,” said Marlboro Township Mayor Jon Hornik.
There were 732 crashes on Route 9 in Monmouth County in 2023, which led to four deaths and 172 injuries. Out of those numbers, 366 crashes were caused by distracted driving and 44 unsafe speeds, according to authorities. Seven pedestrians were also struck.
“Goal: Zero” is a campaign started by Holmdel Police Officer Matthew Menosky to get towns together for one goal - saving lives. News 12 cameras were rolling in February when “Goal: Zero” debuted on the Route 34 corridor in Monmouth County netting 24 speeding violations, 18 cell phone tickets and nine careless driving summonses.
Matt Cangialosi is a former police officer and the owner of Jersey Freeze, overlooking the Route 33 and 9 intersection in Freehold where a driver lost their life in December.
“I can remember three of them offhand like it happened yesterday and they literally happened right in front of us. People not paying attention, blowing through lights, flying through the circle whatever,” said Cangialosi.
For moms like Stephanie Marotta, it’s more than just her life at stake every time she straps in her children.
“People on the road, little aggressive or you know distracted, texting, driving, head in the clouds. But that’s awesome especially if you have kids you want you know the roads to be safe when you’re driving,” said Marotta.
“Goal: Zero” is a campaign taking place once a month. Next month, the campaign will shift to Monmouth County roads and highways that head toward the Jersey Shore beaches.

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