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Office of Public Information (609) 882-2000
Capt. Al Della Fave ext. 6514
Lt. Gerald Lewis ext. 6516
Sgt. Stephen Jones ext. 6513
Sgt. Jeanne Hengemuhle ext. 6515

July 03, 2007

Fatal Accidents Down 10.7 % On New Jersey Roadways

West Trenton - State troopers are hoping to cruise through this holiday without hearing the bang of serious auto crashes or illegal fireworks—both of which can ruin anyone’s Fourth of July.

Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police said, “Last year’s Fourth of July was tragic in terms of lives lost on our state roadways. Knowing that alcohol was a factor in almost half of those deaths, our troopers will be unsympathetic in their enforcement of the D.W.I. laws.”

State Troopers will continue to partner with local and county law enforcement officers in a high intensity enforcement program targeting drivers who operate under the influence of alcohol. Extra patrols will be mobilized around the state to identify drinking and drowsy drivers and will be ready to assist motorists with emergencies.

The 2007 July 4 th holiday officially begins at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3 rd and continues through 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 5 th. During the 2006 July 4 th holiday, 16 persons lost their lives as a result of 13 motor vehicle accidents on New Jersey roadways. So far this year, 324 people have died in traffic-related accidents compared to 363 highway deaths recorded during the same period last year. “Despite the 10.7 % decline in fatalities there is always room for improvement in traffic safety,” Fuentes said.

Variable Message Signs on major New Jersey roadways will remind drivers of their responsibility to operate their vehicles in a safe manner. The signs will also remind drivers to use #77 on their cell phones to report aggressive drivers.

As part of the overall holiday safety program, the New Jersey Regional Operation Information Center (ROIC) will actively monitor all conditions and potential hazards associated with this holiday period. An increased number of uniformed and plain clothed State Troopers will be assigned to monitor traffic and large public gatherings.

Troopers will also be watching for another Independence Day danger, illegal fireworks. Each year the holiday is marred by serious injuries related to the use of illegal fireworks. With that in mind, the Attorney General’s Office, New Jersey State Police, Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Fire Safety, Department of Transportation and other law enforcement agencies have partnered in an initiative to identify and arrest those individuals attempting to bring fireworks into New Jersey. This cooperative effort operation has resulted in the confiscation of over 8000 pounds of fireworks and the arrest of 50 people.

n addition to increased land-based safety responsibilities, Colonel Fuentes stressed that personnel assigned to the State Police Marine Bureau will be patrolling New Jersey waterways throughout the summer boating season. Enforcement activities will focus on drinking boaters and persons recklessly operating personal watercraft (jet skis) and other powered vessels.


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