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Released: 11/13/2006 

DRPA/PATCO Public Safety to Participate in “Buckle Up South Jersey” Mobilization November 13-17, 2006

From November 13 through November 17, the Delaware River Port Authority's Public Safety Department will join law enforcement officers throughout Southern New Jersey to step up enforcement and education of the state's Primary Seat Belt Law. The enforcement and education campaign comes as part of the regional Buckle Up South Jersey mobilization. The New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety Region I consists of Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem counties. The goal of the program is to increase the regional safety belt usage rate to 89 percent, which is the current statewide average. The latest survey results have shown that the Southern Counties display a lower compliance rate than the rest of the state. It is our intent to improve this rate by implementing this program for the third consecutive year. More than 42, 000 motor vehicle occupants in the United States were killed in traffic crashes in 2004. In 2005, there were 748 motor vehicle fatalities in New Jersey and more than half of the motor vehicle occupants who were killed were not wearing a safety belt. Safety belt use is especially important for teens and young adults. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people age 15 to 34 in the United States. During the mobilization period from November 13 through 17, local, county and state police agencies will conduct a zero tolerance safety belt enforcement campaign. DRPA/PATCO officers will patrol areas including and surrounding the bridges and PATCO High Speed Line. Motorists who are not buckled up will be issued a ticket. In addition, concerted efforts are going on locally and statewide to raise awareness about the importance and life-saving benefits of safety belts. The Delaware River Port Authority is a regional transportation and development agency. DRPA owns and operates the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross bridges, the PATCO High Speed Line, the Philadelphia Cruise Terminal at Pier 1 and the RiverLink Ferry.

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