It’s not official yet, but this could be the first time in recent memory that no one was killed on New Jersey’s roads during the holiday weekend. The state also had the fewest number of people die on its roadways since the 1970s.
The figures “may change as municipalities send us data on changes, or people [die] of injuries sustained in crashes during the holiday period,” State Police Sgt. First Class Stephen Jones told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
“If it doesn’t change,” he said, “it would be the first holiday period that we remember without traffic fatalities.”
Holiday periods are defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation and have ranged from one day to five days.
The previous best record in New Jersey was two people killed over the 48-hour New Years holiday in 2003-2004, Jones said.
The worst record was for Labor Day and Thanksgiving holidays in 1996, each of which saw 23 roadway deaths, he said.
Overall, the preliminary year end traffic fatality numbers stand at 588, two fewer than last year — and the lowest in 20 years, Jones noted.
Pedestrians made up 157 of the total deaths, 19 more than in 2008, he said.
“Reducing traffic fatalities is a Herculean task involving many different partners in the public and private sectors,” Jones said. “The New Jersey State Police work together with the Division of Highway Traffic Safety, the Department of Transportation, local and county police agencies and organizations, such as M.A.D.D., to enforce traffic laws and educate the public on safe driving behaviors.”
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