If Paramus Police Chief Richard Cary believes it can happen, maybe New Jersey — if not the entire U.S. — can go a full day without a single traffic death on “Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day.”
The nationwide campaign is aimed at increasing safe-driving awareness and, just maybe, keeping anyone from dying on the road.
“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,” Cary said.
“Shining the spotlight on this one day can help create a groundswell of support for safe driving practices that can carry over throughout the year,” the chief said.
It’s easy to buckle up, drive the limit, and remain sober behind the wheel. More difficult to control are the impulsive, hasty moves or distractions (phone calls, text messages, GPS devices) that can lead to crashes.
Last year, nearly 600 people in New Jersey were killed in crashes.
The good news: That was a 19 percent drop from the year before and the lowest in the state in 60 years.
Oct. 10, 2008 wasn’t fatality-free, however. Two people died amid 1,065 crashes reported in New Jersey that day.
Cary has a particular interest in the campaign. Paramus is North Jersey’s major crossroads, with the Garden State Parkway and several other major highways criss-crossing it. The borough’s Traffic Bureau is extremely active, not just in catching violators but also in warning motorists to be attentive.
The chief has high hopes for this year’s effort. In order for it to work, he said, it must “engage drivers in making positive changes behind the wheel every day of the year.”
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