STATE POLICE ENCOURAGE
SAFETY THROUGHOUT HOLIDAY SEASON
Troopers Gear Up To Reduce Fatal Accidents And Increase Safety
During Upcoming Holiday Period
West Trenton - With the seasonal
rush in full swing, Frederick H. Madden, Acting Superintendent
of the New Jersey State Police, today announced that State
Police will increase patrol, enforcement and traffic safety
activities throughout the 2002 Christmas holiday. In making
his announcement the superintendent also reminded holiday
travelers and shoppers that an extra measure of caution and
safety can prevent tragedy..
"During the final holiday
period of 2002, state troopers and police officers around
the state will focus considerable effort toward removing aggressive
and drunk drivers from the highway," Superintendent Madden
said. "With lives lost during the Christmas holiday weekend
last year, our message becomes even more important - to reduce
highway fatalities during the final two weeks of the year."
While inattentive, aggressive
and drunk drivers are the primary targets of the year end
patrol blitz, Superintendent Madden urged drivers to remember
the Division of Highway Traffic Safety's newest safety slogan
- "Take Five Stay Alive": 1. LEAVE EARLY, 2. BUCKLE
UP, 3. DRIVE FRIENDLY, 4. AVOID DISTRACTIONS, 5. ARRIVE ALIVE.
"The increased traffic
that traditionally occurs during the holidays means that drivers
must be more alert when traveling. Safety begins behind the
wheel and we're asking all motorists to follow the rules of
the road and to drive friendly," Superintendent Madden
said. "Every effort is being made to get aggressive,
drunk and drugged drivers off the highway, including asking
law abiding motorists to report drivers who endanger others."
Motorists can assist state
police and local law enforcement officers in fostering a safe
travel environment by reporting aggressive and unsafe drivers
they observe. Citizens can contact the New Jersey Sate Police
by dialing 1-888-saf-road or #77 on their cell phones toll-free.
State Police encourages any motorist using a cell phone when
reporting aggressive driving behavior to pull to the side
of the road or a safe location before placing the call.
The official 48-hour Christmas
holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Tues., Dec. 24 and continues
through midnight, Wed., Dec. 25. The New Year holiday period
begins at 12:01 a.m. on Tue., Dec. 31 and concludes at midnight
on Wed., Jan. 1, 2003. During the 2001 Christmas holiday,
18 persons lost their lives on New Jersey roadways, while
the New Year's weekend resulted in 16 fatalities.
As part of the holiday patrol
responsibilities, state troopers will be assigned to the high
visibility tactical patrol units and will be monitoring traffic
with radar and laser speed enforcement technology. State troopers
and local police officers will also be assigned to special
drunk driving enforcement initiatives, including stationary
drunk driving checkpoints at targeted, high-volume traffic
locations and through special mobile patrols geared to identify
and arrest the drunk driver.
Additionally, traffic safety
reminders and speed warnings will be posted by the New Jersey
Department of Transportation and separate highway authorities
on overhead and roadside message boards along the busier interstate
highways, including the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State
Parkway, Atlantic City Expressway and the interstate highway
"Troopers from areas stations
will be working to make this holiday season the safest on
record," Madden said. "While the State Police are
working to improve public safety, it's just as important that
travelers and shoppers think safety at home, on the road and
at the malls."
The following are simple tips
to keep you safe on New Jersey's highways this holiday season
and throughout the year:
- Exceeding the posted speed limit is a contributing factor
in many fatalities. Remember not all roads have been raised
to 65 mph. Slow down - excessive speed kills…
- During bad weather and extreme cold, a driver can loose control in matter a matter of seconds.
Be sure to reduce your speed for conditions…
- Many of the deaths occurring on New Jersey's highways
could have been prevented if drivers and passengers had
worn safety belts. Always buckle up, it's a habit
that may save you or a loved ones life…
- Every 32 minutes a person is killed in alcohol related
wreck and another injured every 90 seconds, according to
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. If
you are stopped while under the influence you will be arrested.
Play it safe. Choose a designated driver. Never drink
Finally, to protect yourself in shopping areas, parking garages
and other public places, the New Jersey State Police recommend:
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times…
- Walk with purpose, not aimlessly and walk in pairs whenever possible…
- Have your keys out and ready to unlock your car door…
- And, when you get in lock the door immediately.
The New Jersey State Police wish all a healthy, prosperous and successful New Year.
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