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OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE

 
 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
NJSP Public Information Unit
(609) 882-2000
SLt. Al Della Fave, x6516

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 22, 2003


 
 
NEW JERSEY STATE POLICE STRESS DRIVER SAFETY DURING MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

Safety Campaign Focuses On Safe & Responsible Drivers

     W. Trenton - Joseph "Rick" Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, today announced that scores of State Troopers will be patrolling New Jersey highways throughout the Memorial Day weekend. Fuentes is also urging safety and responsibility as the most effective way to avoid tragic accidents and fatalities on New Jersey's highways.

     "Memorial Day is the traditional start-up of the busy summer driving season," Superintendent Fuentes said. "And, once again, State Troopers and police officers around the state will be working hard providing traffic safety tips and reminders to motorists, boaters and vacationers as they take to the highways and waterways. Our goal is to prevent accidents and save lives, but we can't do it without the public's help and cooperation."

     In addition to an increased focus on traffic safety practices and public awareness, Fuentes said that throughout the summer, motorists will notice a visible state police presence on all New Jersey highways as Troopers work to keep traffic flowing and the roadways safe. Special emphasis will be placed on general traffic patrol activities: drunk driving checkpoints and roving patrols; enforcement of the states' 65 mph speed limit and assistance to stranded motorists.

     The 2003 Memorial Day holiday officially begins at 12:01 a.m. on Fri., May 23 and continues through midnight, Mon., May 26. During the 2002 Memorial Day weekend, 7 persons lost their lives on New Jersey roadways. So far this year, 223 people have died in traffic-related accidents (Jan. 1 through May 17) -- a 16.8 percent decrease in traffic fatalities over the same period last year.

     Fuentes noted that State Police work schedules have been rearranged to provide "maximum coverage," thereby freeing additional Troopers for patrol activities.

     To support the work of New Jersey's 566 municipal police departments and to continue the efforts of the Department of Highway Traffic Safety's "101 Critical Driving Days of Summer" program the state police will set up dozens of sobriety checkpoints at various locations throughout the state during the holiday period. This effort is in addition to roving patrols aimed at identifying and removing the drunk and drinking driver from the highway.

     The New Jersey State police offer these common-sense reminders to help motorists arrive safely at their destinations:

  • Avoid driving while fatigued;
  • Use your seatbelt every time you get in the car;
  • Lock your doors immediately upon entering your car;
  • Allow enough time to get where you are going without hurrying;
  • Look out for other cars, they may not be paying attention;
  • Use your headlights on cloudy days, early morning and after 5 p.m. Remember headlights on when your wipers are on - it's the law and other cars will see you sooner;
  • Don't tailgate, especially in wet weather. Allow enough space to safely stop;
  • Don't drink and drive. Have a designated driver;
  • Adhere to posted speed limits.

     We're asking drivers, passengers and travelers to actively participate in highway safety by practicing highway responsibility. The State Police want drivers to take an extra measure of caution and responsibility when getting behind the wheel.


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