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ERMA - A May 2019 report released by the National Highway and Transportation Administration (NHTSA) indicated there were 37,133 traffic fatalities in 2017. That was one fatality nearly every 14 minutes. 

According to a release, there is still much to be done to reduce the number of fatalities. Everyone needs to be engaged as the nation works toward the goal of a day with zero deaths. 

It would be a day where all drivers make a special effort to “Put the Brakes on Fatalities.” When this happens, the goal will be acheived.

The 19th annual Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day will be celebrated Oct. 10, 2019 by promoting the theme “Don’t be Driven to Distraction-Drive to Arrive” in Lower Township, to encourage the public to reduce driver distractions so they and their loved ones do not become one of those statistics.

In support of Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day, Lower Township Police Chief William Mastriana has directed the entire Lower Township Police Department to increase and enhance their distracted driving and vehicle safety enforcement for a 24-hour period Oct. 10, 2019, in support of this campaign. 

The goal is to unite the country in achieving one full day of zero traffic deaths by encouraging safer behavior and actions, promoting safer roadways and vehicles, and creating improved ways to handle medical emergencies and enforcement of traffic regulations. 

"Motor vehicle fatalities were the leading cause of death in 2015 for all Americans age 11 and every age 16 through 24 in 2014. Whether as a driver, passenger, pedestrian, motorcyclist, cyclist or professional, by working together in a concerted effort, we can make a difference by reducing to zero the number of fatalities occurring on our nation's roads," stated Sgt. 1st Class Robert Hartman, Jr. 

By taking proactive steps, the public can greatly reduce the odds of becoming a statistic. Lt. Kevin Lewis advised, "First and foremost, we must be attentive when we drive." He further advised that drivers should: 

  • Eliminate distractions such as text messing and talking on a cell phone
  • Never drive when drowsy
  • Always drive defensively and obey the posted speed limits
  • Share the road with other vehicles like motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians and trucks
  • Slow down in bad weather as well as in construction and school zones
  • Do not drive while under the influence of alcohol and/or intoxicating drugs 

These are just a few examples of how drivers can reduce their chances of being in a crash. Other important safety practices include: buckling up immediately upon entering a vehicle or every time you begin a trip, using appropriate child safety seats; wearing a helmet when bicycling, motorcycling, or skating; and utilizing crosswalks when crossing roadways,” Hartman noted.

October was selected for the Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day observance because it is among the peak months for traffic fatalities. 

Recently in 2014, Oct. 25 was one of the most dangerous days of the year to be on the road when 153 people died in traffic crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

Also in 2014, the safest day of this year was on Feb 6 when 46 individuals were fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.

"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,” Lewis added. Additional information on “Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day” is available by logging on to www.asce.org/brakesonfatalities.

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