This weekend marks the unofficial end of the summer season, which means many will be on the roads enjoying the final days of sunshine and warm temperatures. Residents and tourists alike can expect increased traffic and congestion on our roadways and waterways this weekend. Responsible vehicle operation both on and off of the water is the first step to ensuring a safe holiday for everyone.
During the 2018 Labor Day holiday period, two of the seven fatal crashes in New Jersey involved impairment from alcohol or drugs as a contributing factor. If you plan on drinking alcohol this weekend, don’t make a bad decision by getting behind the wheel. Tragedies can be avoided by calling a taxi, using transportation applications such as Uber and Lyft, having a designated driver, or making plans to stay where you are.
Another important factor contributing to accidents is fatigue. Many travelers end up driving while exhausted because they try to soak in every last minute of the holiday weekend. To help eliminate fatigue, make frequent stops and get out of the driver’s seat and move around to get your blood flowing. People who drive while fatigued can exhibit many of the same driving behaviors as those who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
In addition to regularly scheduled patrols, the New Jersey State Police will have an additional 117 troopers on patrol statewide. Troopers will focus on violations such as speeding, aggressive driving, improper cell phone use, seatbelt usage, fatigued driving, and DWI.
The State Police Marine Bureau will also be patrolling the state’s waterways, focusing on impaired boat operation and people recklessly operating personal watercrafts and other powered vessels. Marine troopers will also be checking to see 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 under boating safety.
“Driving impaired, on land or on water, can have deadly consequences for you, your passengers, and innocent people sharing the road or waterways,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “We are doing our part by having extra troopers on patrol to help keep everyone safe, but we cannot do it alone. Please drive responsibly and have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend.”