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September 01, 2005

State Police Send a Message:
Enjoy a Labor Day Bash Free From Any Crash

West Trenton, N.J. - Following the national kick off of "You Drink & Drive, You Lose," Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police is demanding compliance of New Jersey traffic laws. State troopers will be out in force this weekend with extra patrols to assist stranded motorists and look for aggressive, drowsy or intoxicated drivers. Fuentes tasked troopers to concentrate on the behaviors that most often contribute to fatal accidents.

The "You Drink & Drive. You Lose" national crackdown is a comprehensive prevention effort focused on conducting highly visible law enforcement related efforts to deter impaired driving.

"We will hold drivers accountable if they engage in reckless roadway behavior," Colonel Fuentes said. The Superintendent explained that these behaviors include speeding, driving aggressively, distracted driving and, of course, driving while intoxicated.

Another important factor contributing to accidents is fatigue. Many travelers try to squeeze every last minute out of the long Labor Day weekend, and end up driving while exhausted. To help eliminate fatigue, know your route of travel and make frequent stops.

"Enjoy the holiday with family and friends, but consider the travel home in your planning. Its not a good trip unless you arrive home safely," said Fuentes.

The Colonel urges motorists to avoid potential problems by using designated drivers, getting enough sleep, leaving early to beat peak travel times and by paying attention at all times.

Inattentive driving is perhaps the single most unreported factor leading to motor vehicle crashes. Much attention has been given to mobile phone usage, but other common distractions include mobile handheld computers, map reading, sound system adjustments, built-in video/game monitors and dealing with children in the back seat.

The stepped-up enforcement will be in effect in all State Police patrol areas, including the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, Atlantic City Expressway and all interstate highways.

"The Labor Day Holiday weekend is meant for fun, not injuries or fatalities from crashes," said Roberto Rodriguez, Director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety. "Remember that police statewide will be out in force looking for drunk, drugged, drowsy, and aggressive drivers. And always buckle up, it's your best safeguard in the event of a crash."

The 2005 Labor Day Holiday officially begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, September 3rd and continues through midnight, September 5th . During the 2004 Labor Day Holiday, 15 persons lost their lives in 13 motor vehicle accidents along New Jersey roadways. Superintendent Fuentes hopes that the public will do their part to reduce traffic fatalities well below last year's level.

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