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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
November 14, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Division of Highway Traffic Safety
- Roberto Rodriguez, Director


Gary Myerovich


"Buckle Up South Jersey"

(Atlantic City Expressway) - Attorney General Peter C. Harvey joined law enforcement, traffic safety and medical professionals today, to announce a second wave of enforcement of the State’s primary seat belt law in Southern New Jersey. Starting today and continuing through Friday, November 18, 2005, police will continue their relentless enforcement by stopping vehicles and issuing summonses to motorists who refuse to buckle up.

“Seat belts save lives. Seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent,” said Attorney General Harvey. “Improve your odds of survival by buckling up on every trip.”

According to Division of Highway Traffic Safety Director Roberto Rodriguez, South Jersey has a seat belt usage rate which is lower than the overall state average of 86%. That figure represents the highest usage rate in the State’s history and was achieved following this year’s ‘Click It or Ticket’ spring mobilization. It has provided the momentum for this campaign as the holiday season approaches and traffic volumes increase as a result. Law enforcement’s efforts will be ongoing to achieve 100% compliance of the Seat Belt Law in New Jersey.

“The use of seat belts is not only the law in New Jersey, it’s one of the simplest ways to reduce needless injuries and fatalities,” said Director Rodriguez. “It takes seconds to buckle up, but if you don’t, it can take a lifetime to deal with a tragedy that didn’t have to happen.”

According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, in 2004, 29,510 passenger vehicle occupant fatalities for which restraint use was known, an estimated 16,364 (55%) more than half, were unrestrained.

Entitled “BUCKLE UP SOUTH JERSEY,” today’s announcement kicked off at the New Jersey State Police Atlantic City Expressway Station.

Grant applications were sent to 112 police departments in South Jersey. The Division grants provide $2,000 to cover overtime costs for Seat Belt Checkpoints and Patrols. The success of “Buckle Up South Jersey” will be determined by each participating police agency. A pre-mobilization survey of 200 vehicles, to determine compliance with the law, will be taken in each jurisdiction and the process will continue with a second survey following the campaign.

The Division, in partnership with law enforcement, wants the public to know that BUCKLING UP is a year-round proposition. While there are several high-intensity mobilizations during the year, police vigilance and enforcement is carried out twenty-four hours a day, all year long. Don’t become a statistic. Use your Seat Belt. It’s the Law.

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