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Office of Public Information (609) 882-2000
Lt. Stephen Jones - ext. 6513
SFC Brian Polite - ext. 6514
Sgt. Adam Grossman - ext. 6516

December 20, 2013

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New Jersey State Police Gives the Gift of Good Advice

West Trenton, N.J. – Sometimes the best gifts in life are free.  The New Jersey State troopers want to give everyone the gift of safety awareness this holiday season.  It’s one we hope you will re-gift to everyone on your list.   

“This is a very busy time of year, but we are asking everyone to take one extra moment to ask this question: How can I make this situation safer?  Whether walking to your car with purchases, leaving home for a trip, or driving on the roadways, there are things you can do to reduce your chance of being a victim,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.  “Be aware of your environment and if something does not feel safe, take a step back and re-evaluate your options.”

The New Jersey State Police offers these general safety tips:

  • Be careful about what shows on those empty boxes you leave at the curb. This gives would-be burglars a sign of what new goods are in your home. 
  • Avoid leaving gifts within easy view through a window in your home.  Thieves can kick in a door and be gone in under a minute if they see exactly where your items are located.
  • Lock your car doors and do not leave items/gifts in open view of your vehicle.  Remove portable GPS units from the dashboard when you exit the car. Criminals look for the easiest targets, so don’t give them a reason to give your vehicle a second look.
  • Social media: Don’t let the cyber-universe know about the new gifts you just purchased or your plans to spend time away from home on vacation.  You never know the intentions of those 500+ of your closest online friends.
  • Shopping center safety: Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t text or talk on the phone while carrying gifts to your car. Park in a well lit, high traffic area and have your keys in hand when returning to your vehicle, so you don’t have to set your packages down while fumbling through your pockets or purse.  If you are not comfortable with what you see, do not approach your vehicle, but return to the stores and ask security for an escort.

Regarding the roadways, the 2012 Christmas holiday driving period was not a good one.  New Jersey suffered 11 deaths in 11 crashes and six of those fatalities were pedestrians. That was an increase from 2011 when seven motor vehicle accidents resulted in seven deaths, with five of those fatalities being pedestrians.  The 2013 Christmas Day Holiday Period begins on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. and ends on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 6:00 a.m.

As of December 20th, 524 motorists have died on New Jersey roads.  That is tragic, but it is actually an 8.4% reduction compared with the same time period in 2012.

Distracted driving remains one of the top contributing factors for motor vehicle crashes. High traffic volume this time of the year combined with out-of-towners who are unfamiliar with the roads can create a hazardous environment for drivers and pedestrians who are not paying attention.

To combat bad driving behavior, extra troopers will be on-the-lookout for specific violations that lead to crashes, including driving while intoxicated, aggressive driving (speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic), and using handheld phones/computers.

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Follow the New Jersey State Police online at Twitter and Facebook. The social media links provided are for reference only. The New Jersey State Police do not endorse any non-governmental websites, companies or applications.

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