N.J. Gov. Kicks Off Holiday Weekend with Highway Safety Note as Residents Hit the Roads

May 26, 2005

Acting New Jersey Gov. Richard Codey on Thursday kicked off Memorial Day weekend and the summer season with a message about highway safety.

“There is no better way to spend Memorial Day weekend than at the Jersey Shore,” Codey said. “Whether it’s Point Pleasant, Cape May or Ocean City, traveling to the Shore is a tradition families have enjoyed for generations. But as much as this is a time of celebration and fun, it also kicks off one of the most dangerous times of the year for highway accidents.

“This weekend and all summer we are urging drivers to be careful and use common sense,” Codey said. “And we are deploying extra resources on New Jersey’s highways to help you stay safe. We are suspending all construction on state highways this weekend. New Jersey State Police and local police are increasing their patrols. And we are extending the Emergency Service Patrols that help stranded drivers with extra gas, a tire change or other services.”

Codey pointed out that traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of three and 33 in the United States. According to the American Automobile Association, nearly 13,000 people will die in highway crashes nationwide during the period that begins with Memorial Day weekend and ends Labor Day.

To help drivers remain safe, Codey announced the following statewide initiatives:

* All construction will be suspended on state highways, from 6 p.m. Friday until noon Tuesday.

* Statewide Emergency Service Patrols, or ESP, will operate with extended hours over the holiday weekend. ESP helps stranded drivers with extra gas, tire changes and other services.

* New Jersey State Police and local police departments will increase their patrols during the holiday weekend. They will be looking for drivers who are aggressive, drowsy or intoxicated. State Police will be using unmarked vehicles for traffic enforcement.

* New Jersey State Police are joining law enforcement agencies nationwide in conducting a “Click It or Ticket” campaign, from May 24 through June 6. The campaign calls for zero-tolerance enforcement of safety belt laws with a special emphasis on teens. These efforts are expected to save lives by resulting in dramatic increases in safety belt use.

A total of 3,188,000 drivers are expected on the New Jersey Turnpike, and 6,116,000 on the Garden State Parkway, beginning Friday and ending Tuesday.

Friday will be the most heavily traveled day, with highest volume expected between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

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