Division of Highway Traffic Safety

Director’s Message

Director’s Message

Eric Heitmann

Summer Traffic Safety

As COVID-19 restrictions continue to be lifted, New Jersey’s recreational and entertainment destinations are sure to create heavy travel demands on our roadways. Millions of drivers will utilize New Jersey’s roadways this summer, especially during the time between the Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, known as the 101 Days of Summer, which are considered to be the busiest and most dangerous travel period of the year.

The New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety wants everyone to get to their destinations ALIVE. To ensure safe travel, enforcement on New Jersey’s roads and highways is heightened 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 (NHTSA), 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 2019 alone, 117 motor vehicle occupants, 39 pedestrians, and 4 bicyclists lost their lives in crashes on New Jersey roadways during that period – nearly 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.
  • Take control of your destiny by never driving distracted. Learn more at: www.NJSAFEROADS.com/Destiny
  • 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.
  • If your vehicle becomes disabled on the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey Turnpike, or Atlantic City Expressway, you can dial #GSP, #95, or #ACE respectively to get help.
  • The 101 Days of Summer are especially hazardous for teenage drivers. In New Jersey in 2019, 16 people were killed and 3,600 people were injured in crashes involving a teen driver during the summer months. Make sure that new drivers in your family are aware of the dangers of speeding, distracted driving and not bucking up, and that they are in compliance with the provisions of their graduated license. Learn more at: www.NJSAFEROADS.com/StickToIt

The most important partner in our effort to prevent crashes and save lives is you.  That’s why we’re 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.

For questions, comments, or suggestions about the 101 Days of Summer or other traffic safety matters, I invite you to contact our office via phone (609) 633-9300 or email HTSWebInfo@njoag.gov. For any other matters, general inquiries can be directed to Citizen Services at (609) 984-5828.

You can also follow along with the NJ DHTS on social media to join the conversation on our traffic safety campaigns all year long:

For information on a wide array of traffic safety topics, please visit the Division’s frequently updated web site at NJSafeRoads.com.

 

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