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Capt. Al Della Fave - ext. 6514
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Sgt. Julian Castellanos - ext. 6515

May 23, 2008

Fatal Crashes Down For Second Year As Memorial Day Approaches

West TrentonNew Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes today announced that 207 people have died in traffic-related accidents so far this year (Jan. 1 through May 17, 2007), which is a 17% decrease from last year.

Fuentes stated, “The 17% decrease in traffic fatalities is a marked improvement, but the number of deaths is still unacceptable. We need to get to a point where traffic fatalities are an anomaly and not the norm.”

In an effort to maintain a safe environment throughout the holiday weekend, troopers and local police officers will partner with the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the “Click-It or Ticket” campaign to enforce seat belt violations. Aggressive drivers, drowsy drivers and drunk drivers will also remain a focal point of law enforcement efforts.

State Police Deputy Superintendent of Operations Juan Mattos said, “Four of the seven fatal motor vehicle accidents last Memorial Day were alcohol related. This is a pointless waste of lives we will attempt to avoid by relentlessly pursuing intoxicated drivers.”

Troopers will patrol our highways providing aid and enforcing the law with the ultimate goal of enjoying a fatality-free Memorial Day weekend. Colonel Fuentes hopes that a concerned public will do its part to achieve that goal. “We can only do so much to encourage safe behavior. In the end, New Jersey’s drivers and boaters must decide to act responsibly,” Fuentes said.

The 2008 Memorial Day holiday officially begins at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 23rd and continues through 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 27th. During the 2007 Memorial Day holiday, seven persons lost their lives on New Jersey roadways in seven separate crashes.

Along with increased land-based safety responsibilities, personnel assigned to the State Police Marine Bureau will be patrolling the waterways throughout the summer boating season. Enforcement activities will focus on boaters drinking alcohol, and recklessly operating personal watercraft (jet skis) and other powered vessels. Marine troopers will also be checking to ensure that boat operators have obtained the proper licenses to operate watercraft. A good synopsis of boating requirements can be found on the State Police website at under boating safety.

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