– With the busy summer driving season
kicking off this weekend, officials and agencies
throughout New Jersey are encouraging motorists
to play it safe as they travel to all corners
of the state to enjoy the warm weather.
Division of Highway Traffic Safety, Division
of State Police and Department of Transportation
are coordinating an awareness effort called
the “101 Days of Summer Traffic Safety”
to focus on the busy travel season between
Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend.
101 days of summer mark one of the busiest
and most dangerous times on the roads,”
said Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa.
“With increased risks should come
increased focus on the safe driving basics:
wear your seat belt, obey the speed limits,
don’t give in to distractions, and
never drink and drive. Following these rules
will go a long way to assuring a safe summer
year, during the summer months of June,
July and August, 146 people lost their lives
in traffic accidents.
said statistics show just how important
these common sense safety principles are.
10,000 drivers in New Jersey have been
involved in crashes since 2008 while using
Motorists who text while driving are 23
times more likely to be in a crash than
those drivers who aren’t distracted.
Aggressive drivers put people at risk
with unsafe speed and other violations
such as following too closely, unsafe
lane changes, and the disregarding of
Unsafe speed and driver inattention are
listed as contributing circumstances in
nearly 40 percent of all crashes.
In 2010 alcohol was consumed to some extent
in 31 percent of fatal crashes in New
Jersey. One hundred and sixty-eight people
were killed in those accidents.
In 2011 New Jersey improved to 94.5 percent
front seatbelt usage. Rear seatbelt usage
also improved, but remained dangerously
low at 61 percent.
vehicle occupants who wear their seatbelts
increase their chances of surviving an
accident by 75 percent.
belt usage will be at the fore during the
early days of the “101 Days”
campaign, according to Division of Highway
Traffic Safety Acting Director Gary Poedubicky.
That’s because through June 3, law
enforcement agencies will be cracking down
on unbuckled motorists and their passengers
during the annual “Click It or Ticket”
mobilization. Last year, more than 400 law
enforcement agencies participated in the
technology that makes us more accessible
and efficient outside of the vehicle can
also put us in danger if used while operating
a vehicle,” said State Police Superintendent
Colonel Rick Fuentes. “Any activity
that diverts a driver's attention from the
road threatens their safety and that of
other motorists. All too often, troopers
investigating crashes find the root cause
to be cell phone use or texting.”
to the Department of Transportation, there
were about 300,000 motor vehicle accidents
on New Jersey roadways in 2011, including
587 fatal crashes. During last year’s
Memorial Day weekend, seven people were
killed in seven separate accidents throughout
the state. Five motorcyclists died, and
others died in alcohol-related accidents.
Jersey offers residents and visitors a wide
range of summertime recreational opportunities,
so it is especially important for residents
and visitors to stay safe while on the road
by obeying speed limits, slowing down in
work zones and avoiding distractions while
driving," said NJDOT Commissioner James
Simpson. "Motorists, bicyclists and
pedestrians all have responsibilities to
follow the rules of the road to promote
prevent crashes by keeping a safe distance
between your vehicle and the one in front
of you. One way to reduce the frustration
of unexpected traffic congestion is to check
511nj.org before starting a trip. It provides
up-to-the-minute information on congestion,
accidents and other factors that might prompt
you to adjust your route or departure time.
NJDOT’s 511 interactive telephone
line provides motorists personalized real-time
traffic information as well.