The accident reports for the five cities and municipalities reviewed by MyCentralJersey.com spanned six years, from 2011 to 2016, and included accidents in which public employees were at fault and also accidents in which they were not.
The majority of the accidents involved emergency responders, such as vehicles driven by police and fire department employees, as well as workers employed by departments of public works.
The data reviewed had to be obtained through the Open Public Records Act.
“A database would be useful, as would some policies — but maybe some municipalities do this already,” said Robert Noland, a Ph.D. and professor specializing in safety and transportation at Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. “I don’t really know.”
Marc Pfeiffer, a professor at Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy who has worked with and researched joint insurance funds, said that joint insurance funds, or JIFs, have aggressive policies in place when dealing with accidents involving public employees.
“One of the things that joint insurance funds have emphasized and worked on since their beginning in the mid-80s is dealing with safety and accident prevention,” he said.