Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day

Motorists in New Jersey and throughout the nation are asked to join a day-long effort on Oct. 10 designed to increase awareness about safe driving and traffic behaviors.

Known as Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day, and taking place annually on Oct. 10, the national initiative was designed to unite the country in moving toward zero fatalities for one full day by practicing safe driver and pedestrian habits for the day, then carrying those habits forward through the rest of the year.

Every driver, pedestrian, motorcyclist and bicyclist is encouraged to be exceptionally careful so that for at least one day, there will be no fatalities on New Jersey’s roads. All of the state’s roadway users are asked to do their share (obey all traffic laws, drive the speed limit, avoid distractions, drive sober, buckle up, stop for pedestrians, use crosswalks and obey crossing signals). Our goal is to experience a day when all roadway users are extra vigilant and there are no fatalities on our roadways.

To support this effort, the South River Police Department will keep an extra sharp eye out for motorists who are driving while distracted or failing to follow the rules of the road. In addition, our department will aim to educate and raise public awareness through the use of message boards and social media in the days leading up to Oct. 10.

In 2017 in New Jersey, 624 individuals lost their lives in motor vehicle related crashes, up from 604 in 2016. There were 166 pedestrian fatalities in New Jersey, which represents over 27% of the state’s motor vehicle fatalities. When compared to the national average of 15%, New Jersey is clearly over-represented and must continue to take action. To help battle this growing problem, the state’s #77 alert system is used to report all forms of dangerous driving, from those operating a vehicle while looking at a cell phone to those driving while impaired.

“Clearly, this effort will go a long way in our continuing efforts to stem the tide of tragedies that occur every day on New Jersey’s roadways,” Chief Mark Tinitigan said in a prepared statement. “Shining the spotlight on this one day can help create a groundswell of support for good driving behaviors that can carry over throughout the year.

“Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day not only raises awareness about the individual responsibility we have for our driving behaviors, but also engages drivers in making positive changes behind the wheel every day of the year,” Tinitigan said.

Additional information on Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day is available by visiting www.asce.org/brakesonfatalities