Changing Seasons, Changing Attitudes
As September arrives and the busy summer travel season comes to an end, the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety (HTS) and its traffic safety partners throughout the state are working together to reverse an alarming rise in traffic fatalities that has seen deaths on New Jersey roadways increase 28 percent over the past two years.
We know that achieving our goal of zero traffic deaths is entirely possible if we all do our part to improve safety and reduce risks on New Jersey roadways. HTS would like to share with you a number of programs and initiatives aimed at promoting safe travels as we transition from summer to fall.
With alcohol-related traffic fatalities up nearly 13 percent in 2021, HTS is doing its part to promote sober travels as we head into the Labor Day holiday. Our annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” mobilization to combat impaired driving is already in full swing. The statewide campaign targeting drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol runs through September 5 this year. HTS is supporting this important initiative through grants that provided a total of $477,610 in funding to 91 law enforcement agencies statewide to carry out enforcement activities and promote sober driving. If your end-of-summer celebration plans include alcohol, be sure to have a designated driver or ride-share program plan lined up. Do it for your own safety and the safety of others on the road.
September means “Back-to-School” time is upon us. As schools begin opening throughout New Jersey, HTS is raising public awareness through social media messaging reminding drivers to be patient, considerate, and extra-vigilant when navigating streets this fall. We are urging drivers to prepare for an increase in pedestrian and bicycle traffic – especially along school routes – and be ready to #ShareTheRoad. HTS invites everyone to visit our Pedestrian Safety webpage this week to learn more about pedestrian and bicycle safety, including how to comply with New Jersey’s new “Safe Passing” law.
Promoting child safety is another important way HTS is working to reduce traffic fatalities. In New Jersey, 17 percent of children under the age of 13 who died in passenger vehicle crashes last year were not buckled in. What makes the deaths of these youngsters even more tragic is that they were entirely preventable. During September’s National Child Passenger Safety Week, which begins on September 19, HTS will focus its messaging on the important role parents and caregivers play in keeping young passengers safe. From September 19 – 25, HTS will use social media and digital advertisements to engage the public with tips and information promoting safe travels with children. The week will culminate with “Seat Check Saturday, when trained child-passenger safety technicians will hold public safety seat check events throughout the state.
For many, September represents the end of the sunny days of summer. Here at HTS, we see it as the start of a new season filled with crisp mornings, cool evenings, and endless opportunities for change. We invite all New Jersey drivers to adopt a fresh approach to driving this month. Make September the month you put safety above all else. Buckle up, slow down, and pay attention to the road. By making smart choices and working together, we can reduce risks, prevent crashes, and save lives.
For questions, comments, or suggestions on child passenger safety 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 Constituent Services at (609) 984-5828.
You can also follow along with the NJ DHTS on social media to join the #CPSWeek and child passenger safety conversation this month along with other traffic safety campaigns all year long:
Facebook – @NewJerseyDivisionofHighwayTrafficSafety
Twitter – @NJTrafficSafety