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OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE

 
 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Public Information Office (609) 882-2000:
Capt. Al Della Fave   Ext. 6514
Lt. Kevin Rehmann    Ext. 6515
SFC Gerald Lewis   Ext. 6516
Sgt. Stephen Jones    Ext. 6513

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 22, 2004


 
 
STATE POLICE SEND MESSAGE OF SAFETY FOR HOLIDAYS

Troopers Warn of Strict Enforcement for Aggressive
Drivers of Commercial Vehicles

West Trenton, N.J. - With the holiday season in full swing, New Jersey State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes today announced a holiday safety program that contains educational and enforcement components. The State Police will increase patrols, enforcement and traffic safety activities, throughout the 2004 Holiday season. In making his announcement the superintendent reminded holiday travelers and shoppers that an extra measure of caution and safety could prevent tragedy.

The educational aspect of the holiday program will include a cooperative effort by troopers, municipal officers and the New Jersey Motor Truck Association to distribute pamphlets warning motorists, including commercial vehicles, of the strict enforcement of New Jersey's motor vehicle laws. Posters will be displayed and literature available at designated New Jersey service areas, rest areas, and truck stops. Troopers will provide brochures to all motorist contacts to create public awareness of the program. Variable message signs will be used on all major highways to remind motorists to drive responsibly.

"As part of the enforcement element of the holiday safety program troopers and officers throughout the state will focus considerable effort toward removing aggressive and drunk drivers from the roadways, Fuentes said. There will be special emphasis on identifying and ticketing drivers operating commercial vehicles in an aggressive or careless manner."

Troopers will be assigned to high visibility tactical patrol units and will monitor traffic with radar and laser speed enforcement technology. Special drunk driving enforcement details, including stationary drunk driving checkpoints at targeted, high volume traffic locations and mobile patrols geared to identify and arrest drunk drivers will be in operation.

Troopers will be covering the state's highways with additional patrols looking for stranded motorists, aggressive drivers and drinking drivers. Members of the State Police ask that the public do its part by driving responsibly in order to attain the first zero fatality holiday weekend.

Colonel Fuentes closed his holiday message by urging motorist to slow down when approaching accident scenes or troopers conducting motor vehicle stops. In recent weeks several troopers have been injured at accident scenes or while conducting motor vehicle stops. "Motorists should be prepared to stop or change lanes to allow troopers space to do their jobs safely," Fuentes said.

Preliminary statewide traffic fatalities for 2004 through December 21st are 675. Although this is a tragic amount of deaths, it stands 5.4 percent below the 2003 number for the same period, which was 714.

Last year, there were six fatalities during the two-day Christmas holiday. This year's official traffic holiday will begin Thursday, December 23rd at 6:00 p.m. and runs through Sunday, December 26th at midnight.

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