POLICE URGE MOTORISTS TO CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND WITHOUT
WEST TRENTON - State troopers are hoping to cruise
through this holiday weekend without hearing the bang of serious
auto crashes or illegal fireworks-both of which can ruin anyone's
Fourth of July.
Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State
Police, sees that there is plenty of room for improvements
in traffic safety. "Last year's Fourth of July was tragic
in terms of lost lives on our state's roadways. Knowing that
alcohol was a factor in almost half of those deaths, our troopers
will be merciless in their enforcement of the D.W.I. laws,"
said Colonel Fuentes.
State Troopers will continue to partner with local and county
law enforcement officers in a high intensity enforcement program
targeting drivers who operate under the influence of alcohol.
Extra Troopers will be mobilized around the state to identify
drinking and drowsy drivers, and will be ready to assist motorist
As part of the overall holiday safety program, increased
numbers of uniformed and plain clothed State Troopers will
be assigned to monitor traffic and large public gatherings.
Troopers will also be watching for another Independence Day
danger; fireworks. Each year emergency rooms are full of patients
who are injured by illegal fireworks. In an effort to prevent
injuries and property damage, State Police have stepped-up
enforcement activities during the summer "fireworks season,"
confiscating fireworks wherever found. It is a crime to sell,
use, and/or possess any kind of fireworks including firecrackers,
Roman candles, M80's, cherry bombs, salutes, and even sparklers.
In any given year, the State Police confiscate between 500
and 1,000 cases of illegal fireworks or approximately six
to eight tons of illegal explosives.
The 2005 July 4th holiday officially begins at 12:01 a.m.
on Friday, July 1st and continues through midnight on Monday
July 4th. During the 2004 July 4th holiday, 18 persons lost
their lives as a result of 16 motor vehicle accidents on New
Jersey roadways. So far this year, 299 people have died in
traffic-related accidents compared to 311 highway deaths recorded
during the same period last year.
In addition to increased land-based safety responsibilities,
Colonel Fuentes stressed that personnel assigned to the State
Police Marine Bureau will be patrolling all the waterways
throughout the summer boating season. Enforcement activities
will focus on boaters drinking alcohol and persons recklessly
operating personal watercraft (jet skis) and other powered
New Jersey's boating laws and regulations require that operators
of personal watercraft be at least 16 years of age; that persons
born after Jan. 1, 1979 obtain a state boating safety certificate
and have that certificate in their possession when operating
any power vessel; that person born on or before Dec. 31, 1978
have a state boating safety certificate in their possession
when operating a personal watercraft and that operators on
non-tidal waters have a New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles
boating license in addition to a state boating safety certificate.
Power vessel operators without a boating certificate will
be subject to fines ranging from $100 to $500.
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