Traffic Safety Tips
For your driving safety, we have provided the following Traffic Safety Tips. This page is regularly updated, so continue to visit it for the most current Traffic Safety Tips. For more information about Traffic Safety in North Brunswick, contact the Traffic Safety Bureau, 732-247-0922 ext. 410.
While carjacking and other vehicular crimes have received considerable attention of late, they still occur relatively infrequently. Nevertheless, there are several ways you can protect yourself and your passengers while driving:
- Plan alternative routes to your destination. That way, if your regular route is closed or inaccessible, you can reach still reach your destination safely, on familiar territory.
- Keep your car in good running condition, and keep the tank at least a quarter full (or greater in winter, to avoid gas line freezing).
- Lock all doors and keep windows rolled up at all times-even if you are driving for only a short distance.
- When approaching your vehicle, have your keys in hand, ready to open the door. The few seconds you save fumbling for your keys may keep you from becoming a victim.
- Be especially alert when using enclosed parking garages. Remember exactly where you parked your vehicle. Don't walk into an area if you feel uncomfortable.
- Leave only your ignition key with a parking lot attendant. Don't leave your trunk key (if different) or your house or work keys, as someone may make copies while you are out.
- Always look inside the car before entering. An intruder may be crouched on the floor of the back seat.
- Avoid "smash and grab" crimes (incidents in which an offender breaks a car window and steals valuable items) by placing purses, packages, and other valuables under the front seat or, better still, in the trunk.
- Remain alert at all times. Keep the radio off or at a low volume to help remain alert, and don't become distracted during calls on your car phone.
- Take special care when stopped in traffic for anyone approaching your vehicle. Sound your horn to attract attention if approached by a suspicious person. Drive away to a well-lit and secure area.
- Sometime carjackers or thieves driving behind you will bump your rear fender, expecting you to pull over right away. If your vehicle is tapped in the rear, do not pull over, especially at night or in unfamiliar places. Instead, drive to a well-lit, secure area with other people such as a gas station or, better still, a police facility to report the accident.
- Avoid asking strangers for directions.
- Never pick up hitchhikers.
- If your car breaks down, raise the hood and place emergency reflectors or flares. Then stay in the locked car. When someone stops to help, do not get out. Ask the person, through a closed or cracked window, to telephone the police for help.
June signals the beginning of the summer, when families will spend many hours driving to their vacation destinations. Although many Americans are now "buckling up" on long road trips, it is the short trips, at low speeds, that lead to the greatest number of crashes.
Consider the following statistics:
- About 75 percent of all crashes occur within 25 miles of home.
- Sixty percent of fatal crashes or crashes involving injuries occur on roads with posted speed limits of 40 miles per hour or less.
As these statistics indicate, wearing safety belts every day -- every time you ride in a vehicle, even for a short trip -- can greatly reduce the chance of serious injury or death. Nationally, an estimated 9,000 lives were saved by the use of safety belts in 1994.
Safety belt usage for you and your family is a win-win situation. Remember North Brunswick, BUCKLE UP!
Pickup trucks are increasingly becoming a popular means of family transportation. However, pickup trucks are not required to meet all passenger car safety standards. Parents should be aware that child restraints are designed for use on forward facing seats and are not suitable for jumpseats. Jumpseats are too small to support the base of most child restraints. The bench seat may not be wide enough to support a child restraint. In addition, there may not be enough room between the front and back seats to allow for the expected forward movement of a child's head in a crash.
A recent Washington state study found the fatality risk to be 10.4 times higher for persons riding in pickup cargo areas, either with or without a canopy. Although most parents would not consider allowing an infant to ride in the cargo areas, they may be tempted to allow older children or adults to ride "in the back." More than half of the over 200 deaths per year of persons riding in cargo beds were children and teenagers. Most non-collision deaths were caused by falls due to swerving, braking or rough roads.
The Motor Vehicle and Traffic Laws of New Jersey specifically forbids such activity. 39:4-69 states, "No person shall ride on, and no operator shall knowingly allow a person to ride on a street car or vehicle, or on a portion thereof not designed or intended for the conveyance of passengers." So remember -- kids aren't cargo.
Although both weather systems (rain & snow) create hazardous conditions, warmer wet roads bring special dangers. The initial sprinkle of rain creates a slicker surface due to the separation of water and oil buildup on the street. It is at this point that drivers should be especially careful and realize that it will take longer to stop, even with anti-lock brakes.
The extreme of water and oil buildup on streets is hydroplaning. This condition occurs at higher speeds during heavy rains or where standing water exists. Traction is greatly reduced as water builds up under the tire, making any driving maneuver difficult to execute. Other hazards include hidden potholes, large debris or glass, and elevated sewers. As always, drivers should reduce speed in inclement weather and be conscious of potential road hazards.
Each year in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of 41 school-age children die in school bus-related traffic crashes -- 11 school bus occupants and 30 pedestrians. To help prevent such tragedies in North Brunswick, your police officers are paying special attention to pedestrian and vehicular traffic around school buses.
Here are some basic safety laws and tips that drivers of school buses and other vehicles should consider at all times:
- School buses transporting school-aged children must stop at all railroad crossings (New Jersey Statutes 39:4-128).
- Note: New Jersey law allows for limited railroad crossing stop exemptions. This is the case with the railroad crossing on Jersey Avenue in the area of the Route 1 interchange.
- When loading or discharging children, school bus drivers must signal their intentions with flashing red lights and extended stop signal arms (New Jersey Statutes 39:3B-1).
- Vehicles in traffic shall not overtake or pass any school bus stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging children. Drivers may proceed when directed by the bus driver or when the visual signals are no longer activated (New Jersey Statutes 39:4-128.1).
For more information about school bus safety, including safety tips for children, visit NHTSA's School Bus Safety page.
Or call the North Brunswick Police Department's Traffic Safety Bureau at 732-247-0922 ext. 410.