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news release

P.O. Box 600
Trenton, NJ

Contact: Anna Farneski

RELEASE: June 24, 2003

Lettiere announces media buy for #77

campaign at 2003 Traffic Safety Summit


(Trenton) - New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere today announced an $180,000 radio advertising buy to promote the #77 campaign of Governor James E. McGreevey's Safety First Initiative.

Lettiere made the announcement while delivering the keynote address at the 2003 Traffic Safety Summit in East Windsor Tuesday afternoon.

The two-month campaign with 74 Westwood One radio affiliates in New York and Philadelphia will blanket stations with a 10-second message that will air the dozens of times daily with traffic reports, encouraging people "If you see someone driving aggressively, pull over and dial #77 to alert State Police."

Participating stations will include 1010 WINS, NEWS 88, WFAN, 101.5, KYW, WHYY. The message will be translated for Spanish-language stations.

"Over the next two months, thousands of people will hear our safety message on the radio, and see it broadcast on signs throughout the state, another critical step in Governor McGreevey's Safety First Initiative," Lettiere said. "We must be ever vigilant and aggressive in order to ensure the safety of New Jersey's working families."

Since May 27, NJDOT, the Garden State Parkway and the NJ Turnpike began displaying the #77 message on electronic message boards statewide, at the request of the Governor's Highway Safety Task Force. Calls, which are routed to the NJ State Police, have grown by 600%, from an average of 100 calls a day to nearly 600.

The action was taken in response to two fatal motor vehicle crashes over Memorial Day weekend on I-78. Lettiere also ordered that $500,000 be spent to manufacture fixed signs with the #77 message that are currently being installed statewide.

In November Governor McGreevey ordered the creation of a standing Highway Safety Task Force to monitor and address safety issues on New Jersey's roadways.

The Task Force has recommended a number of measures, based on education, enforcement and engineering including:

  • Creation of "Safe Corridors" that double fines on most dangerous highways and dedicate fines for law enforcement
  • Creation of Safety Impact Teams, the first in the nation, to study and find engineering solutions for most dangerous sections of highways.
  • Spend $15 million for installation of 100 miles of median barrier to prevent cross-over accidents.
  • Install 500 miles of raised pavement reflectors over the next 2 years
  • Spend $5 million for technological improvements to speed emergency response to accidents, redirect traffic.
  • Expansion of driver education programs to include information on how to drive safely with trucks and require extra training for truckers.

Tuesday's summit was sponsored by the Department of Law and Public Safety's Division of Highway Traffic Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. State and Federal traffic safety agencies, elected officials and community leaders met for a day-long series of workshops to study traffic safety issues and provide information to communities about available grant programs.

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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  April 5, 2007