||During the summer travel season, New Jersey’s recreational and entertainment destinations create heavy travel demands on our roadways. For this reason, the time between the Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day - known as the 101 Days of Summer - is considered to be the busiest and most dangerous travel period of the year.
The 101 Days of Summer Traffic Safety Campaign features stepped up enforcement on New Jersey’s roads and highways during this critical period. In addition to regular and supplemental patrols, police throughout New Jersey will be conducting sobriety checkpoints, deploying DWI and DUI Mobile Patrols, participating in the “Click It or Ticket” and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” national enforcement mobilizations, and conducting task force partnerships and traffic safety details with other law enforcement and traffic safety agencies.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the higher volume of holiday travelers, including a significantly higher number of alcohol-impaired drivers’ cause nearly twice the number of automotive deaths during the summer months than during the rest of the year combined.
In New Jersey, fatal crashes, alcohol-related crashes, and young-driver crashes all occur at higher rates between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, according to an analysis of five-year crash statistics.
In 2017 alone, 137 motor vehicle occupants, 48 pedestrians, and 5 bicyclists lost their lives in crashes on New Jersey roadways during that period – more than a third of the total lives lost that year.
Although New Jersey’s highways remain some of the safest in the nation, every injury and every loss of life is one too many. For the next three months we will be working with our partners in New Jersey’s law enforcement and traffic safety communities to reduce the risks associated with summer travel with a goal of preventing crashes and saving lives.
To help reduce the risks of crashes and other travel-related hazards this summer:
- Make sure you and your passengers wear seat belts for every trip and keep small children restrained in properly installed child seats. This year a key focus of the 101 Days of Summer campaign will be to promote seat belt usage in ALL seating positions both front AND rear, day AND night.
- Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Always have a designated driver available.
- In order to maintain proper traffic flow, keep right unless passing on our multi-lane highways. Improper lane usage is a major contributing factor to unnecessary traffic congestion.
- Obey the speed limit.
- Avoid distractions while driving, especially texting or talking on cell phones.
- Stay alert behind the wheel and be prepared for slowing traffic, lane shifts, and important safety signage.
- Slow down for emergency or construction vehicles and move over to an adjacent lane if possible.
- Prior to summer travel check your vehicle’s oil, tires, and fluid levels to avoid a breakdown. If you do break down, call for help immediately.
- Utilize the NJ511 system (511nj.org website and phone systems) to get valuable real-time information about crashes, congestion, construction, and travel times.
- Do not leave children or pets in a hot car. On summer days, parked cars can reach deadly temperatures in a short period of time.
- The 101 Days of Summer are especially hazardous for teenage drivers. In 2016, more than 1,050 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving a teen driver during the summer months. Make sure that new drivers in your family are capable drivers and in compliance with the provisions of their graduated license. Those provisions can be found on the Division of Highway Traffic website at www.NJSafeRoads.com
The most important partner in our effort to prevent crashes and save lives is you. That’s why we are asking you to join us as we work together to make New Jersey roadways safer for all who travel during the 101 Days of Summer.
I encourage everyone to become partners in the 101 Days of Summer traffic safety campaign by obeying traffic safety laws and following safe driving habits.
A wealth of information on a wide array of traffic safety topics can be found on the Division’s web site www.NJSafeRoads.com. New information is added regularly.
In addition, I invite everyone to contact our office via phone (609) 633-9300 or email HTSWebInfo@njoag.gov with questions, comments, or suggestions. We are listening and we are here to ensure that everyone gets where they are going and gets back to their loved ones SAFELY.