|December is here, bringing holiday cheer, the hustle and bustle of the busy shopping season and the anticipation of COVID-safe small gatherings with loved ones!
Here at the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, we want to help preserve the magic of the season by ensuring that all holiday travelers reach their destinations safely by pledging to drive sober as we participate in our annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement mobilization, obeying the speed limits on our roadways, and saying NO to risky driving behaviors.
During the pandemic, statistics have shown that alcohol and drug use has increased in correlation with a rise in anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders, which has led to more people driving under the influence. Other worrisome statistics show that even though our roadways are less crowded with more people staying at home, the number of fatalities have remained consistent to pre-COVID times due to increased number of drivers speeding and a decreased use of seatbelts. Traveling at high speeds without seatbelt use has resulted in an increased number of crashes where people are killed from being ejected from their vehicles.
We want you to arrive at your destination ALIVE. You can help prevent crashes and deaths related to impaired driving and other risky roadway behaviors by having a safety plan.
Follow these tips to keep your holiday season safe and fun for all:
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
- If you are impaired in any way, use the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “SafeRide” app to call a taxi or a friend. The app is available on Google Play for Android devices and Apple devices on the iTunes store. Remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving.
- If you are hosting a small gathering, make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, call law enforcement immediately.
- Always wear your seat belt, no matter what seat you are sitting in or how long your trip is.
- Obey all speed limits, even if the roadway seems emptier than usual. Speed limits are created with your safety in mind.
I invite everyone to contact our office via phone (609) 633-9300 or email HTSWebInfo@njoag.gov with questions, comments, or suggestions. You can also follow along with the NJ DHTS on social media to join the #DriveSoberOrGetPulledOver and #BuzzedDrivingIsDrunkDriving discussions and other traffic safety conversations.
For a wealth of information on a wide array of traffic safety topics, please visit the Division’s frequently updated web site at www.NJSafeRoads.com.
Please stay safe and be smart on the roadway this season so everyone is able to enjoy the season with their families.