NEW JERSEY STATE POLICE TO
INCREASE PATROLS & HIGHWAY ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES DURING LABOR
W. Trenton - Colonel
Carson J. Dunbar, Jr., Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police
and Director Peter J. O'Hagan, Division of Highway Traffic Safety,
today announced that the New Jersey State Police and traffic enforcement
officers throughout the state will increase traffic patrol responsibilities
during the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend.
With over 34,000 miles
of highway cris-crossing the state and thousands of motorists driving
millions of miles during the holiday period, Superintendent Dunbar
and Director O'Hagan said that state troopers, municipal police
officers and highway traffic safety personnel remain busy 24 hours-a-day
responding to traffic-related emergencies and patrolling to reduce
fatal accidents. The officials reminded New Jersey drivers that
law enforcement officers will be focusing particular attention on
the aggressive, inattentive, careless and drowsy driver as they
enforce the state's traffic laws and promote safe driving practices.
"Our message is simple
and our goal is important - zero highway fatalities during the 96-hour
Labor Day holiday," Dunbar said. "With many more New Jerseyans
staying closer to home, and with our beaches, parks and recreational
areas in great shape, we're certain to see highway traffic swell
with late summer tourists and vacationers."
According to O'Hagan,
"New Jersey's highway safety enforcement agencies will be maximizing
resources throughout the extended holiday weekend in an all-out
effort to provide even more safety-related reminders as travelers,
tourists and vacationers take to the state highways."
The highway safety officials
said that state troopers and local police officers will focus attention
on the drowsy and inattentive driver, noting that drowsy and inattentive
driving is perhaps the single largest contributing factor (and most
under reported) in motor vehicle crashes, especially during extended
holiday periods when there are many more distractions facing drivers.
The State Police will continue
to target drivers and their passengers who are not wearing seat
belts. The program, geared to increase compliance with New Jersey's
primary seat belt law, will result in the issuance of summonses
to drivers for failure to buckle themselves and their passengers.
Troopers will specifically attempt to identify children not properly
secured in approved child restraint seats. The stepped-up enforcement
campaign will be in effect in all State Police patrol areas, including
the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, Atlantic City Expressway
and all interstate highways.
According to Director O'Hagan,
New Jersey's seat belt use rate increased from 63.3% to 74.2% following
enactment of the primary seat belt law in May, 2000. Drivers and
front seat passengers who do not wear their seat belts face a $42
Additionally, state troopers
will be assigned to high visibility tactical patrol units to monitor
traffic using state-of-the-art speed enforcement technology. Troopers
will also be moving around the state to identify the drunk and drinking
driver and will also staff stationary sobriety checkpoints in all
State Police patrol areas.
The 2001 Labor Day holiday
officially begins at 12:01 a.m. on Fri., Aug 31. and continues through
midnight, Mon., Sept. 3. During the 2000 Labor Day holiday, six
persons lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents along New Jersey
The State Police noted that
407 people have died in traffic-related accidents so far this year
(Jan. 1 through August 26, 2001) compared to 462 highway deaths
recorded during the same period last year (2000).
# # #