Officials Reviewing Hazardous Washington Township Roadway

Morris County officials have announced that they plan on hiring an out-of-state firm to assess the safety problems presented by a roadway that has gained notoriety for the number of accidents that occur there. According to a news report in The Observer-Tribune, there have been more than 40 separate incidents involving tractor-trailers on Schooley’s Mountain Road in Washington Township.

In one recent incident, three school children were almost struck by a truck. Officials are trying to determine if big rigs should be prohibited from using the roadway because there are two hairpin turns coming down the mountain that are difficult to maneuver with a large truck.

In addition to the more than 40 incidents involving trucks on the downside of the mountain, there have also been two fatal crashes. In one fatal crash, a motorcyclist was ejected from his vehicle while riding downhill on a turn.

To reduce downhill incidents from occurring, there are a number of changes that the county is considering. Officials are already planning on repaving a quarter-of-a-mile section near James Trail because there are currently large ruts in the road. Many are calling for a ban of large trucks from using the main east-west route because of the number of trucks that get stuck on the turns. Officials are even asking for funding to create a by-pass to give heavy vehicles a safer option.

It is the responsibility of governmental agencies to review and repair hazardous roadways. Defective roadway conditions that must be evaluated and repaired include:

  • Dangerous turns with limited visibility
  • Large potholes and ruts
  • Inadequate shoulders
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Overgrown trees and shrubs that block street signs and traffic lights
  • Declines, inclines, and turns that are too severe

When accidents occur on a dangerous roadway, it must be determined if the negligence of the governing body in charge of maintaining the roadway contributed to the crash. In such cases, it may be possible to file a claim against the government. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Lependorf & Silverstein have a long and successful track record of helping injured victims of hazardous roadway accidents. Please call our offices today at (609) 240-0040 for a free and comprehensive consultation.