NEWARK — The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) joins with safety, law enforcement and transportation agencies nationwide in encouraging drivers to exhibit extra caution on the road this Wednesday, Oct. 10 for Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day.
Since 2001, Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day has been observed every October in an effort to unite the country in achieving one full day of zero traffic deaths by promoting safer driving behavior, roadways and vehicles. October was selected for the day because it is annually among the peak months for traffic fatalities.
“Making our transportation network safer for all users is the NJTPA’s top priority, whether they’re traveling by car, motorcycle, bike, foot or public transportation,” said NJTPA Chairman and Hunterdon County Freeholder Matthew Holt. “But we know infrastructure improvements alone won’t lead to zero fatality days on our roads. It’s up to all of us to make traffic safety a priority and encourage our friends and family members to do the same.”
Holt noted that the NJTPA will soon launch a new pedestrian safety education campaign. The public awareness effort will feature custom approaches to engaging pedestrians and motorists in different parts of the NJTPA region, including cities, suburbs and rural towns, as well as tourist destinations.
The NTJPA also has programs in place that that allow counties and cities in the region to apply for federal grant funding for safety upgrades. Last month, the NJTPA Board of Trustees approved $2.8 million in funding for seven local projects in its Local Safety and High Risk Rural Roads programs, which specialize in high-impact, “quick-fix” solutions in areas with demonstrated safety needs. Many critical road and bicycle/pedestrian safety improvement projects have also been developed through other NJTPA programs. For more on the NJTPA’s safety-related efforts, visit http://www.njtpa.org/Plan/Element/Safety/default.aspx.
NJTPA also urges all roadways users on Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day and every day of the year to follow these tips as though your life depended on it:
- Avoid cutting in front of other vehicles as you may create an emergency braking situation for others around you, especially in heavy traffic.
- Always buckle your seat belt.
- Watch your blind spots and the “No Zones” around trucks and buses.
- Focus only on the road while driving. If you need to attend to another matter while driving, safely pull over in a parking lot or rest stop.
- Avoid aggressive drivers and driving aggressively.
- Avoid squeeze play. Be careful of trucks and buses making wide right turns. If you try to get in between the truck and the curb, you could be caught in a squeeze and suffer a serious accident.
- Keep up with the maintenance on your vehicle.
- Never drink and drive.
- Stop to allow pedestrians in the crosswalk to safely cross the street.
- Use crosswalks or cross at the corner when on foot.
- Wear an approved helmet regardless of whether you ride a bike or motorcycle.
- Eliminate all distractions so that you’re 100 percent focused on driving, walking or biking and able to react.
For more traffic safety tips and other information about Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day, visit the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety at www.njsaferoads.com.
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