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2002 News Releases NJSP Badge



Lt. Al Della Fave, NJSP Public Information Office
(609) 882-2000 x6514

December 23, 2002

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Troopers Gear Up To Reduce Fatal Accidents And Increase Safety During Upcoming Holiday Period

     West Trenton - With the seasonal rush in full swing, Frederick H. Madden, Acting Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, today announced that State Police will increase patrol, enforcement and traffic safety activities throughout the 2002 Christmas holiday. In making his announcement the superintendent also reminded holiday travelers and shoppers that an extra measure of caution and safety can prevent tragedy..

     "During the final holiday period of 2002, state troopers and police officers around the state will focus considerable effort toward removing aggressive and drunk drivers from the highway," Superintendent Madden said. "With lives lost during the Christmas holiday weekend last year, our message becomes even more important - to reduce highway fatalities during the final two weeks of the year."

     While inattentive, aggressive and drunk drivers are the primary targets of the year end patrol blitz, Superintendent Madden urged drivers to remember the Division of Highway Traffic Safety's newest safety slogan - "Take Five Stay Alive": 1. LEAVE EARLY, 2. BUCKLE UP, 3. DRIVE FRIENDLY, 4. AVOID DISTRACTIONS, 5. ARRIVE ALIVE.

     "The increased traffic that traditionally occurs during the holidays means that drivers must be more alert when traveling. Safety begins behind the wheel and we're asking all motorists to follow the rules of the road and to drive friendly," Superintendent Madden said. "Every effort is being made to get aggressive, drunk and drugged drivers off the highway, including asking law abiding motorists to report drivers who endanger others."

     Motorists can assist state police and local law enforcement officers in fostering a safe travel environment by reporting aggressive and unsafe drivers they observe. Citizens can contact the New Jersey Sate Police by dialing 1-888-saf-road or #77 on their cell phones toll-free. State Police encourages any motorist using a cell phone when reporting aggressive driving behavior to pull to the side of the road or a safe location before placing the call.

     The official 48-hour Christmas holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Tues., Dec. 24 and continues through midnight, Wed., Dec. 25. The New Year holiday period begins at 12:01 a.m. on Tue., Dec. 31 and concludes at midnight on Wed., Jan. 1, 2003. During the 2001 Christmas holiday, 18 persons lost their lives on New Jersey roadways, while the New Year's weekend resulted in 16 fatalities.

     As part of the holiday patrol responsibilities, state troopers will be assigned to the high visibility tactical patrol units and will be monitoring traffic with radar and laser speed enforcement technology. State troopers and local police officers will also be assigned to special drunk driving enforcement initiatives, including stationary drunk driving checkpoints at targeted, high-volume traffic locations and through special mobile patrols geared to identify and arrest the drunk driver.

     Additionally, traffic safety reminders and speed warnings will be posted by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and separate highway authorities on overhead and roadside message boards along the busier interstate highways, including the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, Atlantic City Expressway and the interstate highway system.

     "Troopers from areas stations will be working to make this holiday season the safest on record," Madden said. "While the State Police are working to improve public safety, it's just as important that travelers and shoppers think safety at home, on the road and at the malls."

     The following are simple tips to keep you safe on New Jersey's highways this holiday season and throughout the year:

  • Exceeding the posted speed limit is a contributing factor in many fatalities. Remember not all roads have been raised to 65 mph. Slow down - excessive speed kills…
  • During bad weather and extreme cold, a driver can loose control in matter a matter of seconds. Be sure to reduce your speed for conditions…
  • Many of the deaths occurring on New Jersey's highways could have been prevented if drivers and passengers had worn safety belts. Always buckle up, it's a habit that may save you or a loved ones life…
  • Every 32 minutes a person is killed in alcohol related wreck and another injured every 90 seconds, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. If you are stopped while under the influence you will be arrested. Play it safe. Choose a designated driver. Never drink and drive…

     Finally, to protect yourself in shopping areas, parking garages and other public places, the New Jersey State Police recommend:

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times…
  • Walk with purpose, not aimlessly and walk in pairs whenever possible…
  • Have your keys out and ready to unlock your car door…
  • And, when you get in lock the door immediately.

     The New Jersey State Police wish all a healthy, prosperous and successful New Year.

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