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For Immediate Release:  
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November 29, 2005

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


Gary Myerovich


Division of Highway Traffic Safety Honors Individuals to Commemorate the Most Successful year in DHTS History

(Edison) - The Division of Highway Traffic Safety’s 3rd Annual Traffic Safety Summit and Governor’s Representative Award Luncheon was held today at the Sheraton Edison Hotel’s Raritan Center in Edison, New Jersey. Over 350 law enforcement and traffic safety professionals and advocates attended the Summit to review the year’s accomplishments, and discuss ways to enhance safety on New Jersey’s roads in the coming year. The Division also bestowed fourteen awards to individuals and organizations for their commitment to traffic safety, and the actions they have taken to make the New Jersey motoring public safer as a result.

“New Jersey is at the forefront of traffic safety initiatives nationwide,” said Attorney General Peter C. Harvey. “The attendees here today should be proud of their hard work and the results produced by their efforts. That work translates into lives saved on New Jersey’s roadways.”

The following statistics were released at today’s event:

  • Motor vehicle fatalities in New Jersey declined slightly, from 733 in 2003 to 731 in 2004.
  • The percentage of alcohol-related fatalities in New Jersey in 2004 (37%) remained below the national average of 39%
  • The overall New Jersey motor vehicle fatality rate in 2004 was 1.05 as opposed to the national rate of 1.46.
  • New Jersey’s seat belt usage rate climbed for the eighth straight year to 82% in 2004.
  • In 2005, The Garden State’s ‘Click It or Ticket’ mobilization boosted seat belt use compliance to 86%, a new State record and one of the highest percentages in the nation.
  • The two-week, 2005 ‘You Drink and Drive. You Lose’ crackdown netted nearly 51,000 summonses for various traffic and other violations. Of those, 1,600 DWI arrests were made.

“2004 was indeed a good year for the Division and its partners, which created a wave of momentum into 2005,” said Division Director Roberto Rodriguez. “This year, the ‘Click It or Ticket’ mobilization alone displayed a unified effort by 434 police departments statewide in enforcing the seat belt law. A unified effort with our partners and participation have been the keys to achieving amazing results, to the betterment of the public. But there is no time to rest on our collective laurels. We will use this momentum together to make 2006 an even safer year for New Jersey.”

Today’s awards were in the following categories: Outstanding Grantees (3 regions), Community Outreach, Law Enforcement, Media, Innovation in Traffic Safety Education, Outstanding Advocacy, Business Partnership, Public Official, Federal Partnership, Partnership, and Drunk Driving Enforcement. Special recognition was also given to Chief Anthony J. Parenti, the innovative and long time President of the New Jersey Police Traffic Officers Association, and New Jersey MADD Executive Director Teresa Stevens on the occasion of MADD’s 25th anniversary.

The Mission of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety is to reduce fatalities, injuries and property damage on the roads of New Jersey resulting from traffic crashes. To achieve its mission, the Division undertakes traffic safety programs relating to Education, Enforcement and Engineering. The bulk of the Division’s funding comes from the federal government. The funding received by the Division is used to undertake statewide traffic safety programs, and is also dispersed to local, county and state agencies in the form of traffic safety grants.

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