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Office of Public Information (609) 882-2000
Capt. Al Della Fave ext. 6514
Lt. Gerald Lewis ext. 6516
Sgt. Stephen Jones ext. 6513
Sgt. Jeanne Hengemuhle ext. 6515

August 31, 2007

Fatal Accident Numbers Decline
Education and Enforcement Combined To Lower Fatalities

West Trenton, N.J. – There have been 442 motor vehicle fatalities in New Jersey so far this year. That’s 41 less than the same time last year, an almost nine percent decrease. These statistics prove that New Jersey’s divers are starting to get the message.

The investment in educating New Jersey’s drivers in conjunction with vigorous enforcement has started to pay dividends. The decrease in the number of fatal accidents indicates that New Jerseyans are starting to take safe driving seriously,” Colonel Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said. “There is no other activity in which people make life and death decisions on such a regular basis.” The Superintendent explained that these life and death decisions include speed, aggressive driving, driving while distracted or tired and, of course, driving while intoxicated. Colonel Rick Fuentes tasked troopers to continue concentrating on these behaviors since they often contribute to fatal accidents. Additionally, law enforcement will be looking for people who refuse to obey the seat belt laws.

This year’s national DWI program, entitled “Drunk Driving: Over the Limit. Under Arrest,” will be vigorously supported by officers throughout the Garden State. The crackdown is a comprehensive prevention effort focused on conducting highly visible law enforcement related efforts to deter impaired driving.

Another important factor contributing to accidents is fatigue. Many travelers try to squeeze every last minute out of the long Labor Day weekend, and end up driving while exhausted. To help eliminate fatigue, know your route of travel and make frequent stops.

The Colonel urges motorists to avoid potential problems by using designated drivers, getting enough sleep, leaving early to beat peak travel times and by paying attention at all times.

Inattentive driving is perhaps the single most common factor leading to motor vehicle crashes. Much attention has been given to mobile phone usage, but other common distractions include mobile handheld computers, map reading, sound system adjustments, built-in video/game monitors and dealing with children in the back seat.

The 2007 Labor Day Holiday officially begins at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, August 31st and continues through 6:00 a.m., Tuesday, September 4th. During the previous Labor Day holiday, 9 persons lost their lives in accidents on New Jersey roadways. Superintendent Fuentes hopes that the public will continue to do their part to reduce traffic fatalities.

In addition to increased land-based safety responsibilities, 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 vessels. Marine troopers will also be checking to see that boat operators have obtained the proper licenses to operate watercraft. A good synopsis of boating requirements can be found on the State Police website at under boating safety.


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