AC Jitney safety techniques may be applied in North Jersey - NBC40.net

AC Jitney safety techniques may be applied in North Jersey

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ATLANTIC CITY -

The green buses the routinely make their way up and down Atlantic City's streets may soon become a model of safety for the rest of the state.

"We volunteered our services to help the transportation committee understand the rules and regulations and how we operate and how that can be applied up there," said Tom Woodruff, President of the Atlantic City Jitney Association.

Woodruff says the State Assembly Transportation Committee called North Jersey jitneys the "wild west" and believes some of the rules applied here could potentially benefit the jitneys up there.

"If two jitneys are going down the road, one jitney cannot pass another jitney until that jitney pulls over to the side of the road to pick up or drop off," said Woodruff.

Woodruff says Atlantic City's jitneys are required to take out at least $500,000 in insurance, well over the state minimum of $35,000. Elected jitney leaders also keep an eye on the streets during seven different jitney shifts.

"I'm going to look out for someone else and they’re going to look out for me and we do really well together,” said Jitney Driver Dennis Gitsas.

“Safety is so important for us in the tight streets of Atlantic City and we have those rules set up for that reason, safety’s got to be first."

In addition to following state and local laws, jitney drivers also police themselves. If one driver sees another driving breaking the rules, it could result in a visit to jitney traffic court and a possible fine for the driver.

"Another driver can give them a ticket and those tickets are substantially higher than those of a police officer," said Woodruff.

These safety steps were noticeable for jitney riders Thursday afternoon.

"They’re quick, they get you there quick so I like that," said Jim Rhodes, visiting Atlantic City from Ohio.

"I enjoyed it,” said Jim Kelly of California.

“I thought it was very functional, very well, safe and no problems."

And as the Atlantic City Jitney Association continues to focus on safety, the hope is that their success spreads north.

"Its been very effective, it brings a sense of normalcy to the road in an environment that is highly competitive," said Woodruff.

"Hopefully people can see how we do things and use it to their advantage," said Gitsas.

Atlantic City Jitney officials say drivers also must pass background checks and are required to have a commercial drivers license

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