Madison Borough NJ Homepage

Traffic Safety Bureau

The Traffic Safety Bureau is responsible for investigating all serious and fatal motor vehicle accidents. In addition, they maintain computerized traffic and speed counts on borough roadways and work in conjunction with borough officials on problem areas within the community.  
The Traffic Safety Bureau also maintains, trains and supervises all school crossing guards, coordination with construction companies on all borough construction projects and handling any traffic related complaints within the Borough.

The Traffic Safety Bureau conducts child safety seat inspections, educational programs which focus on topics such as drunk driving and distracted driving, 


Traffic Studies
When the Traffic Safety Bureau receives a speeding complaint, typically the first step in the resolution of the complaint is to conduct a traffic study.  While the anecdotal experiences of residents are important, the data in the traffic study is the main driver in how to respond in an effective and efficient manner.   Traffic studies provide the following vital information:

  • 85th Percentile Speed (the speed at or below 85% of vehicles travel)
  • Vehicle Count
  • Most Effective Times for Enforcement
  • To request a traffic study contact a member of the Traffic Safety Bureau.

Recent Traffic Studies

•    What does the 85th percentile speed mean?
The 85th percentile speed is the speed at or below 85 percent of vehicles travel.

Another way of looking at this is that only 15 percent of vehicles go faster than this speed and 85 percent go at or below this speed. According to a Federal Highway Administration study, all states and most local agencies use the 85th percentile speed of free flowing traffic as the basic factor in establishing speed limits.

•    Why is the 85th percentile speed a good basis for the speed limit?
Studies have shown crash rates are lowest at around the 85th percentile speed. Drivers traveling significantly faster OR slower than this speed are at a greater risk for being in a crash. It is not high speeds alone that relate to crash risk; it is the variation of speed within the traffic stream.

•    Would lowering the speed limit affect the speed of vehicles?
A change in the speed limit almost always changes the mean speed of traffic. However, the changes are not always proportional. For the most part, the change in the mean speed of traffic created by a change in speed limit is around 25 percent of the change in the speed limit.  In other words, a speed limit increase or reduction of 6 mph (10 km/h) yields about a 1.5 mph (2.5 km/h) raising or lowering of the mean speed, respectively.

References: R. Elvik, P. Christensen, and A. Amundsen, "Speed and Road Accidents: An Evaluation of the Power Model," The Institute of Transport Economics (TOI), TOI Report 740/2004 (December 2004).

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Methods and Practices for Setting Speed Limits: An Informational Report

Lt. Carey Radar

Contact Us

If you have questions, please contact a member of the Traffic Safety.

Black and White Traffic Officer and Patrol Car
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