Home Voorhees News Mayor’s Column: Drive Sober

Mayor’s Column: Drive Sober

Mayor Michael Mignogna reviews safety tips for driving around the holidays, including the national police effort "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" and Voorhee's continued "Voorhees Saves Lives" program that provides free rides to residents from restaurants to home.

For the protection of our community, the Voorhees Township Police Department will be cracking down on drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs through January 1, 2022. The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign” is part of a national push to prevent drivers from getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and will include saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints focusing on motorists who may be intoxicated while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one person is killed every 52 minutes in drunk-driving crashes.

Across the state, NJ police are on high alert for drunk drivers. Over 100 police departments in New Jersey received grant funding totaling $632,520 that helps pay for increased patrols and the sobriety checkpoints. In 2020, the campaign resulted in 590 DUI arrests and the departments that participated issued 3,121 summonses for speeding and 817 summons for seat belt violations.

In New Jersey, crashes involving drunk drivers accounted for almost 25 percent of all traffic deaths in 2019. Fatalities from drunk driving increased during the Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday period more than any other time, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Every holiday season, hundreds of lives are lost due to drunk drivers and alcohol-impaired fatalities make up more than a quarter of all crash fatalities.

Our police offer the following advice for the holiday season:

  • Take mass transit, a taxi, Uber or similar service or ask a sober friend to drive you home.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your action may save someone’s life and failure to act could cost a life.
  • Spend the night where the activity or party is held.
  • Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. 

Voorhees Township has continued the “Voorhees Saves Lives Program” to help our residents get home safely from local bars and restaurants. The program provides free rides home to Voorhees residents from any restaurant or bar in Voorhees and the ChopHouse in Gibbsboro. Residents simply open the Uber app at one of the participating restaurants/bars and will see a “safe ride” option at the bottom of the screen. The free service will not be provided from one establishment to another but only from the establishment to home. The program is available every day from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.   

No tax dollars are used for this program. It is fully funded through contributions from local foundations, donors and businesses.

Enjoy the holidays and please be safe!

** On Saturday, Dec. 18, Santa will be visiting the Kirkwood Fire Station Headquarters on Burnt Mill Rd. to meet with children and enjoy some cookies. Bring your camera to take pictures. This free event will begin at noon and will end at 4 p.m.

** Visit Santa at the Voorhees Town Center through Christmas Eve. Masks are encouraged. Walk-up visits will be available throughout the day. Pet visits will be available on Mondays from Dec. 17 through closing. For more information about holiday events, visit www.voorheestowncenter.com.

**The Voorhees Arts Center will be continuing the Kids Art Camp, providing great art activities for children of our community ages K-6th grades. The next camps are Saturday Dec. 4 and Wednesday Dec. 29 form 9 a.m. to noon in the Town Hall Mall Food Court, visit voorheesartscouncil.org, registration is required.

** Voorhees Township is sponsoring our second annual Holiday House Decorating Contest. The three categories to be judged are most original, most creative and the Clark Griswold award. Entries will be judged on outdoor decorations only. Entries must be submitted to the Township by 5 p.m. Dec. 16. Winners will be announced at the Dec. 20, Township Committee meeting. For more information, visit the township website at voorheesnj.com


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