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news release

P.O. Box 600
Trenton, NJ

Contact: Marc LaVorgna or Brendan Gill

RELEASE: May 26, 2005

Codey kicks off Memorial Day weekend with highway safety announcement


(SAYREVILLE) - Acting Governor Richard J. Codey today kicked off Memorial Day weekend and the summer season with a message about highway safety.

"There is no better way to spend Memorial Day weekend than at the Jersey Shore," Codey said. "Whether it's Point Pleasant, Cape May or Ocean City, traveling to the Shore is a tradition families have enjoyed for generations. But as much as this is a time of celebration and fun, it also kicks off one of the most dangerous times of the year for highway accidents.

"This weekend and all summer we are urging drivers to be careful and use common sense," Codey said. "And we are deploying extra resources on New Jersey's highways to help you stay safe. We are suspending all construction on state highways this weekend. New Jersey State Police and local police are increasing their patrols. And we are extending the Emergency Service Patrols that help stranded drivers with extra gas, a tire change or other services."

Codey was joined by New Jersey Turnpike Authority Executive Director Michael Lapolla; New Jersey State Police Lieutenant Stephen Wolcott; Michele Mount, public affairs manager for AAA New Jersey; and other officials for a news conference at the Cheesequake Rest Area on the Garden State Parkway.

Codey pointed out that traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of three and 33 in the United States. According to the American Automobile Association, nearly 13,000 people will die in highway crashes nationwide during the period that begins with Memorial Day weekend and ends Labor Day.

To help drivers remain safe, Codey announced the following statewide initiatives:

· All construction will be suspended on state highways, from 6 p.m. Friday until noon Tuesday.

· Statewide Emergency Service Patrols, or ESP, will operate with extended hours over the holiday weekend. ESP helps stranded drivers with extra gas, tire changes and other services.

· New Jersey State Police and local police departments will increase their patrols during the holiday weekend. They will be looking for drivers who are aggressive, drowsy or intoxicated. State Police will be using unmarked vehicles for traffic enforcement.

· New Jersey State Police are joining law enforcement agencies nationwide in conducting a "Click It or Ticket" campaign, from May 24 through June 6. The campaign calls for zero-tolerance enforcement of safety belt laws with a special emphasis on teens. These efforts are expected to save lives by resulting in dramatic increases in safety belt use.

· Drivers are encouraged to call the following numbers for roadside assistance or to report a disabled vehicle, roadside debris or other problems:
- On the Turnpike call #95.
- On the Parkway call #GSP (#477).
- On the Atlantic City Expressway call #ACE (#223).
- To report aggressive driving on any road call #77.
- Motorists should continue to dial 911 for emergencies.

· Drivers can find updated information on all roads, 24 hours a day, at www.njcommuter.com.

"We are doing all we can to make this weekend a safe and enjoyable one, so we are asking drivers to do the same by driving safely and obeying posted speed limits," said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere.

Codey reminded drivers that Express E-ZPass is now available at seven toll plazas along the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike. Express E-ZPass lets E-ZPass customers travel through toll areas at normal driving speeds, thanks to the removal of certain toll barriers and the addition of E-ZPass sensors on an overhead gantry. At each location, traditional E-ZPass and cash lanes are also available.

In addition, NJ Transit is offering summertime deals on its website, www.njtransit.com, including beach packages that combine roundtrip transportation with beach access for as low as $13. On weekends, from 7 p.m. Fridays until 6 a.m. Mondays, up to two children ages five through 11 can travel free with each fare-paying adult.

A total of 3,188,000 drivers are expected on the New Jersey Turnpike, and 6,116,000 on the Garden State Parkway, beginning Friday and ending Tuesday.

Friday will be the most heavily traveled day, with highest volume expected between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. On the Turnpike, the heaviest traffic will be on Interchanges 1-4, 11, 14, 18W and just south of 8A at the merge. On the Parkway, the heaviest traffic will be from the Union Toll Plaza through the Toms River Toll Plaza.


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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  November 15, 2006