Trenton, N.J. – Thanksgiving weekend
is traditionally the heaviest travel period
of the year. To help New Jerseyans have
an enjoyable and safe holiday, the New Jersey
State Police offer the following safety
Prepare before you drive.
Map your route; fill your tank; check
your tire pressure, lights and wiper blades.
These simple steps may save you more than
time on the highways.
Insist that all vehicle occupants use
drive drowsy. The symptoms of
driving tired are similar to those of
driving under the influence of drugs or
alcohol. Make sure you get enough rest.
Steer clear of “road ragers.”
Challenging an aggressive driver for a
position is a dangerous way to get to
your destination a few seconds sooner.
a designated driver. If alcohol
figures into your Thanksgiving plans,
plan to have one driver stay sober.
people died in New Jersey in accidents during
the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday period. Shockingly,
four of those perished in crashed that involved
alcohol or drugs. The only good news is
that five deaths are better than the nine
endured during the 2009 holiday period.
New Jersey State Police would prefer a tragedy-free
deter dangerous driving behavior, additional
State Police patrols will strictly enforce
hazardous violations, including the failure
of vehicle occupants to wear seatbelts.
Sober driving and seat belt use are two
of the most effective ways to protect people
and reduce crash fatalities. Research has
shown that when lap/shoulder belts are used
properly, the risk of fatal injury to front
seat passengers is reduced by 45 percent,
and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury
is reduced by 50 percent.
addition, Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent
of the New Jersey State Police, wants motorists
to obey New Jersey’s Move Over Law.
“Drivers need to be aware of Troopers
and emergency workers on the roadways assisting
those in need. Protect those protecting
you by moving over or slowing down when
approaching vehicles displaying emergency
flashing lights,” said Colonel Fuentes.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page
(www.odmp.org), 92 law enforcement officers
have lost their lives in the last decade
due to being struck by a vehicle.
Jersey’s “Move Over” law
helps protect roadside emergency workers
and vehicles. Such vehicles include police,
fire and medical services vehicles, and
also highway maintenance, tow trucks and
official motorist aid vehicles displaying
amber emergency lights. Where possible,
drivers are required to move over to create
an empty lane next to the emergency vehicle.
When safely changing lanes is not possible,
drivers must slow down below the posted
speed limit prior to passing emergency vehicles.
Drivers should also be prepared to stop,
want everyone to enjoy their holiday and
get to their destination safely, but drivers
need to be mindful of their own safety and
that of those they share the road with,”
Division of Highway Traffic Safety Acting
Director Gary Poedubicky said. “The
temptation to drink and drive may be there
during the holidays, but there is simply
no excuse for it. Any time you drink and
drive, you are putting yourself, your family
and the public at large in great danger.”
also urged motorists to keep their eyes
on the road and not drive distracted. He
urged drivers not to talk on the phone while
driving and said that texting while driving
is illegal in New Jersey.
traffic statistical purposes, the official
Thanksgiving holiday begins on Wednesday,
November 23rd at 6:00 p.m. and ends on Monday,
November 28th at 6:00 a.m.
roads are not the only place that people
should be thinking about safety. Avoid making
yourself an inviting target to criminals
near shopping destinations by following
Don’t look distracted when
walking through parking lots.
Keep your head up and look around in order
to be aware of your surroundings.
Don’t open your car doors,
or even go stand by your car if there
are suspicious people standing nearby.
Instead walk back toward a lighted, busier
Keep purchased gifts in the trunk
or other areas out of sight.
If your car’s key fob has
an alarm function, have it ready
in your hand as you walk towards your
vehicle. You can use it to attract attention
to a possibly dangerous situation.
Avoid dark and isolated parking
areas. Spend a few extra minutes
to find a parking spot that appears safe.
Exterior lighting is also a key
crime deterrent outside of your home.
Keep your entry way clear of bushes or
features capable of hiding a potential
finally, if you see something suspicious,
don’t hesitate to contact authorities.
for non-emergency tips and, of course,
911 for emergencies.