(source: New Jersey Divison of Highway Traffic Safety)
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over – Prevention and not arrest is the goal of this campaign. Local police departments have adopted this strategy to deliver a message to the motoring public that the risk of being caught is too high, in hopes that behaviors will change. The "Drive Sober or get Pulled Over" campaign has already influenced thousands of citizens nationwide, including in Middlesex County, not to drink and drive.
PSA “Don’t Drink and Drive” - In the year 2000, Middlesex County Freeholder H. James Polos created a program called the “Middlesex County Don’t Drink and Drive PSA Video Contest”, with the goal of reducing alcohol related fatalities among teens. Middlesex County’s PSA Don’t Drink and Drive contest requires high school students to make a video explaining the dangers of impaired and distracted driving and ways to avoid unnecessary accidents. The contest coincides with prom and graduation season.
The program has expanded over the years and now the County partners with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, NCADD, Rutgers University Alcohol Studies and NJHTS. High school students are asked to produce 30-second videos and audio PSAs, which are judged by a team of public safety and creative production specialists from around the State. This year the initiative was expanded to include distracted driving, specifically texting and cell phone use. The program is now known as 3D PSA “Don’t Drive Dangerously” Contest.
Watch 16th Annual PSA “Don’t Drive Dangerously” program video:
D.R.I.V.E. Program – The D.R.I.V.E. program enlightens students to the pitfalls of driving while under the influence through the use of fatal vision goggles that mimics the effects of being intoxicated. Through physical application, students are able to realize the dangers of driving while intoxicated.
Middlesex County's Driver Response Impaired Vision Exercise (D.R.I.V.E.) program was created by Freeholder H. James Polos. This unique program utilizes golf carts and sight-impairing fatal vision goggles to create a hands-on impaired driving experience for the driver. Polos designed a course utilizing road cones, safety barriers and traffic signs that can be set up in parking lot areas of high schools.
Hero Campaign – Middlesex County was the first County in New Jersey to officially adopt the now nationally recognized HERO program. The John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers promotes the use of sober designated drivers to keep drunken drivers off our highways. The program, whose motto is: “Be a HERO. Be a Designated Driver,” was founded by William Elliott after his son John was killed by a man who had been arrested for driving under the influence.
Businesses throughout Middlesex County sponsor the program by displaying posters, circulating brochures and car window decals, and by selling blue “HERO” wristbands to promote the designated driver campaign. Additionally, in an effort to educate teens on the dangers of drinking, the County has created HERO chapters in the high schools that will focus solely on preventing drunk driving and underage drinking.
Middlesex County Crashes Involving Alcohol
Occupant RestraintsSeat Belts – Seat Belts have been proven to be a major factor in improving survivability and reducing severity in motor vehicle crashes. They are also the best defense occupants have against an impaired driver. Middlesex County’s seat belt usage declined from 2008 to 2009 according to the “National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS)” conducted in August 2009 (National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
Click It Or Ticket campaigns and similar efforts have increased safety belt use in cities, states and even in an entire region of the country In New Jersey, 419 police agencies participated in the May 2011 Click It or Ticket Enforcement Mobilization. According to the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, as a result of the enforcement and public information efforts, New Jersey’s seat belt usage has risen to an all-time high of 94.51%.
(source: New Jersey Divison of Highway Traffic Safety)What is Distracted Driving?
There are three main types of distraction – visual, manual, and cognitive.
Other Distractions Include