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news release

P.O. Box 600
Trenton, NJ
Contact: Steve Schapiro
Daniel Triana
RELEASE: August 31, 2017

NJDOT reminds motorists to drive safe and avoid distracted driving by using GEICO Safe Phone Zones over Labor Day weekend

NJDOT also suspends roadway construction over holiday weekend

(Trenton) - New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials today are reminding drivers to make Labor Day weekend a safe one on the highways by avoiding distracted driving during the busy holiday.

NJDOT Commissioner Richard T. Hammer encourages motorists to utilize any of the 14 Rest Areas and Scenic Overlooks throughout the state designated as GEICO Safe Phone Zones to use their phones for calling, texting, and accessing mobile apps. The Safe Phone Zones, announced in June, are sponsored by GEICO as part of a national campaign to reduce distracted driving.

“With many people traveling our highways during the busy Labor Day Weekend, it’s even more important to stay focused on the road,” Commissioner Hammer said. “Safe Phone Zones provide drivers a place to pull off the highway so they may use their phone safely. It’s also important to remember to observe speed limits, other rules of the road, and that everyone is required to wear a seat belt – in both the front and back seat.”

Motorists may also use #77 to report drivers using cell phones or otherwise driving distracted. Since the program was rebranded in April to combat increased incidents of distracted driving, the state has received nearly 2,000 calls reporting drivers using cell phones and another 22,000 calls about aggressive driving on New Jersey roadways.

“Motorists traveling during this holiday weekend deserve to be able to reach their destination without dealing with distracted or aggressive drivers,” said Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino. “We urge those on the roads to put away the cell phones and drive within the speed limits. Be smart. Be safe.”

Construction suspended for Labor Day weekend

To help minimize congestion and help traffic flow as smoothly as possible over Labor Day weekend, construction projects on state roads and bridges will be suspended from 6 a.m. Friday, September 1, until noon Tuesday, September 5. Only emergency construction, or work behind barriers that do not affect traffic, will be allowed.

Real-time traffic information

NJDOT offers motorists real-time travel information in multiple formats to help them make informed decisions, save time and fuel costs, and avoid congestion. Motorists can get the latest traffic information by calling 511 to reach NJDOT’s interactive telephone line, by going to www.511nj.org, or subscribing to any of 18 highway-specific Twitter accounts through 511nj.

These Twitter accounts provide real-time traffic updates for major highways in New Jersey and can help followers adjust travel plans based on current traffic conditions. The 511nj Twitter accounts are one-way automated information feeds from New Jersey’s 511 service and are not consistently monitored by NJDOT or its partner agencies.

Motorists are encouraged to check for real-time traffic information before leaving and to follow us on Twitter @NJDOT_info for NJDOT news.

New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway motorists can obtain real-time information and video images of traffic conditions on those major roadways by visiting the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) website at www.state.nj.us/turnpike.

In addition, motorists may download SafeTripNJ, a free smartphone app that provides hands-free, eyes-free traffic information. Launch the hands-free app before you put your car in drive. The app uses the phone's internal GPS to locate your position and direction of travel. SafeTripNJ will sense when you are approaching a reported roadway condition and will start talking with streaming audio, telling you about active advisories that are ahead.

Safety Service Patrol

NJDOT’s Safety Service Patrol (SSP), which patrols 225 miles of interstate and state highways throughout New Jersey, also will be working through the holiday weekend to help keep traffic flowing smoothly. The SSP assists motorists whose vehicles have become disabled as a result of a crash, a mechanical failure or other cause, and provide safety for emergency responders.

The SSP is a year-round service that provides assistance such as changing a flat tire, pushing a disabled vehicle off to the shoulder, pulling a vehicle trapped in mud or snow back onto the road, providing a small amount of gasoline and making minor repairs. The service is provided free of charge.

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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  August 31, 2017