Motorists asked to make Oct. 10 ‘fatality-free’

Last year, 603 deaths occurred from motor vehicle crashes

In a state that averaged more than one motor vehicle death a day last year, the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety and law enforcement agencies statewide are again asking motorists to make one day — Oct. 10 — fatality-free.

“Each of the lives lost isn’t a statistic,” Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean F. Dalton said. “It is the mother or father, son or daughter, friend or neighbor who didn’t come home, and we all need to reverse this trend.”

The “Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day” campaign began in 2001 and continues this year with messages on electronic billboards and “palm cards” stuffed into pay envelopes by some employers.

“Tips for a Safe Passage” provided on the cards include: use seat belts, avoid distractions, stop at crosswalks, comply with road signs and signals, give emergency vehicles the right of way, respect motorcycle riders, avoid aggressive driving; use child safety seats, no speeding, tailgating or drinking before driving, slow down in work zones and watch out for pedestrians and cyclists.

According to the Highway Traffic Safety Division, the goal is “to experience a day when all roadway users are extra-vigilant and there are no fatalities on our roadways.”

The campaign looks to counter a four-year trend of increasing crash fatalities. Last year, 603 deaths occurred from motor vehicle crashes, up from 562 in 2015.