NJ Drunk Driving News: “Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day” Could Heighten DWI Enforcement

Drivers across the New Jersey area, including Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Atlantic counties, may see an increase in police presence on the state’s highways and surface streets during this coming Saturday, October 10. In a nationwide campaign known as “Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day,” law enforcement agencies will be out in force looking for traffic violations and targeting zero fatalities for one full day. This effort may include sobriety checkpoints in various areas.

As a citizen of New Jersey, as well as a DWI defense attorney, I am always happy to see traffic deaths decrease. However, I know that some motorists can get a raw deal from local and state police during campaigns such as this. That is why I always encourage people arrested for drunk driving to contact a legal professional for advice and counsel.

According to news reports, “Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day” will see police departments statewide emphasizing and enforcing all traffic laws, including seatbelt usage, obeying the posted speed limit, avoiding distractions such as cellphone use while driving, and not getting behind the well when intoxicated.

Police data show that 591 individuals died in traffic accidents in New Jersey just last year. While this number may seem high, it represents a 19-percent decline from 2007, and also marks the lowest number of recorded motor vehicle deaths in the state since 1948, according to reports.

As with last year’s campaign, law enforcement agencies throughout the state will be reporting crash information — such as total number of crashes, injuries crashes and fatalities — for the 24-hour period of October 10. Police will convey that information to the Division of Highway Traffic Safety, the state’s lead traffic safety agency. The division will then compile and post this information on its website.

Approximately 66 percent of the 496 police agencies in the state, as well as the state police, reported crash data following last year’s “Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day.” A total of 1,065 crashes took place in New Jersey on that day, resulting in 201 injuries and two fatalities.

Lower Township Police promote annual Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day, ShoreNewsToday.com, September 24, 2009