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news release

P.O. Box 600
Trenton, NJ

Contact: Erin Phalon

RELEASE: May 25, 2006

Kolluri promotes highway safety for holiday weekend

State officials say that more than 9 million drivers will be on the road

(Trenton)– Commissioner Kris Kolluri today kicked off Memorial Day weekend and the start of summer by reiterating the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s (NJDOT) commitment to highway safety and encouraging motorists to exercise caution as they enjoy the upcoming summer season.

"As we welcome the summer season, NJDOT is promoting safety by suspending construction on state highways, urging drivers to obey the speed limit and increasing emergency service patrols that offer roadside assistance such as motor fuel and tire changes,” Kolluri said.

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

Kolluri announced the following statewide highway safety initiatives:

• NJDOT will suspend all construction on state highways from 6 p.m. Friday until noon Tuesday.

• NJDOT will extend the hours of operation of the Statewide Emergency Service Patrols (ESP) 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.

Michael LaPolla, Executive Director of the NJTPA, would like to remind drivers that Express E-ZPass is now available at eight toll plazas along the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway, including the Bergen Toll Plaza. 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.

A total of 3,257,022 drivers are expected on the New Jersey Turnpike and 6,081,000 on the Garden State Parkway from Friday, May 26th through Tuesday, May 30th. 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.

In addition, NJ Transit is offering summertime fare bargains on its website, www.njtransit.com, including beach packages that combine roundtrip transportation with beach access for as low as $14.50. 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.

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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  May 31, 2006