Counting on the Holidays
West Trenton, NJ - Over the hills and through the woods and across the New Jersey’s interstates we go…and
then that big SUV cuts you off forcing you to hit the brakes. Presents slide off the back seat and you’re furious.
What are you going to do? First, try counting. Count your blessings: those in your vehicle, and all those people
you care about. Next, count the cost of reacting in anger—it could easily outweigh the momentary satisfaction you’re looking for.
You’re at a party with family and friends. You’ve had a few drinks and you wonder if you’re over the limit.
You want to go home, but what do you do? Start counting the value of the lives you may endanger by driving under the
influence. Count the cost of a DWI arrest, and the effect it will have on your family and your job. And count those
who died last year doing the same thing. Four out of the seven deaths over the 2011 Christmas holiday period were
listed as having alcohol as a contributing factor to the crash.
"With so many bad things happening in the world today, take the time to protect your loved ones, especially on the
roadways. Avoid distracted driving by leaving youe electronic devices and cell phones alone until your trip is over.
When you’re driving, just drive. And never take the risk of driving after drinking," said Colonel Rick Fuentes,
Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
"As the State continues to recover from Hurricane Sandy, there are many troopers and other officers working extra
duty to serve New Jersey’s citizens. Please protect them and obey the law by moving over and slowing down when
approaching emergency vehicles at the side of the road," Colonel Fuentes added.
"Lots of folks will be out during this busy holiday season, enjoying themselves and the holiday festivities, and
we want everyone to be safe on our roadways." said Division of Highway Traffic Safety Acting Director Gary Poedubicky.
"That’s why we will be stepping up enforcement to catch and arrest impaired drivers. If you are caught drinking and
driving impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses."
The holidays are included in a larger period of DWI enforcement in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign
that is coordinated by the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety. The program places additional troopers and
officers on the roads looking for intoxicated drivers.
Distracted and aggressive driving remains at the top of the list for causing motor vehicle crashes, and there are
never more distractions than at this time of year. Add to that, stressed drivers trying to get to their destination,
a higher volume of holiday traffic, and some out-of-towners who are unfamiliar with the roads.
There will be a full compliment of troopers and Emergency Service Patrols to handle accidents and broken down
vehicles during the holiday periods. If your vehicle becomes disabled, immediately pull as far off the traveled
part of the road as possible and put your flashers on. If a crash or mechanical failure leaves your car in the lanes
of travel, do not get out until you can see a clear break in traffic that enables you and your passengers to get completely
off the road and to a safe location. Especially on icy roadways, minor crashes sometimes lead to serious injuries when
occupants are standing around the scene of the accident as other traffic approaches.
During the 2011Christmas holiday driving period, there were seven crashes resulting in seven deaths, five of those
fatalities were pedestrians. That was an increase from 2010 when six motor vehicle accidents resulted in the deaths of
six people. As of December 21st, 542 motorists have died on New Jersey roads, which is a 4.8% reduction compared with
the same time period in 2011.
The official Christmas driving period begins at 6:00 p.m. on December 21st, and runs through 6:00 a.m. on December 26th.
The New Year’s period starts at 6:00 p.m. December 28th, and continues until 6:00 a.m. January 2nd.
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