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For Immediate Release:
For Further Information:
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September 12, 2011

Office of The Attorney General
- Paula T. Dow, Attorney General
Division of Highway Traffic Safety
- Gary Poedubicky, Acting Director

Media Inquiries-
Rachel Goemaat
609-292-4791
Citizen Inquiries-
609-292-4925

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Officials Remind Motorists and Students to Remain Vigilant in School Zones & Near Bus Stops

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TRENTON –With school back in session, it is imperative that both motorists and students be extra vigilant on New Jersey’s roadways, especially in school zones and near bus stops, Attorney General Paul T. Dow and Acting Highway Traffic Safety Director Gary Poedubicky cautioned today.

According to Acting Director Poedubicky, in New Jersey, from 2008 to 2010, 19 children between the ages of five and 15 lost their lives and nearly 2,000 were injured in incidences involving pedestrians and bicyclists colliding with motor vehicles.

“With the summer season behind us and New Jersey’s flood waters beginning to recede, New Jersey residents must focus on the new school year ahead,” Attorney General Dow said. “The safety of our state’s 1.3 million students is a responsibility that my office takes very seriously.”

“With the days getting shorter, wet leaves on the road and children going to and from school, autumn is a season in which drivers need to be extra careful,” Acting Director Poedubicky said. “When you are operating a motor vehicle, staying focused on the road can mean the difference between life and death.”

Acting Director Poedubicky offered the following tips to motorists and students:

Motorists

  • Be aware of children walking to and from bus stops, as they might not be paying attention and dart into the road.
  • Be aware of school zone signage and reduce speed in school zones.
  • Be patient and wait for children to complete their crossing before proceeding. Remember the law now requires motorists to stop and remain stopped for pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • DO NOT text while driving.

Students

  • Always stop, look and listen before crossing.
  • Always cross at the crosswalk and obey all traffic lights and crossing guard instructions.
  • Try to arrive at the bus stop early so you are never rushing to catch the bus. Always wait at least 6 feet from the curb and don't approach the bus until it comes to a complete stop.

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission on Thursday (Sept. 8) highlighted its efforts to ensure the safety of students through its semi-annual inspection of 24,000 school transportation vehicles. In addition, school districts and bus companies in New Jersey are required to do self-inspections of the vehicles in-between MVC inspections. Also, MVC partners with the New Jersey State Police through the New Jersey school bus task force to conduct surprise inspections of the vehicles.

Additional tips for school zone safety can be found at: www.nj.gov/oag/hts/downloads/School_Zone_Tip_Sheet.pdf

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