By Cheryl Conway
October is Traffic Awareness Month and in Randolph motorists may notice some extra enforcement on the streets.
Increased patrol vehicles in both marked and unmarked vehicles, traffic calming measures with marked decoy vehicles and traffic calming signs are to be expected throughout the month, according to Detective Lieutenant Christopher Giuliani of the Randolph Police Department.
In conjunction with Randolph Traffic Safety Awareness Month, the Randolph Township Police Department helped to promote the Annual Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day on Mon., Oct. 10, when motorists throughout the nation were asked to join a day-long effort to raise awareness on safe driving behaviors and keep the state’s roadways fatality free for one day, according to a RTPD press release.
The RPD, along with the Randolph Twp. Traffic Advisory Committee, decided to extend that day to a month long initiative to support safe driving behaviors. Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day is a national initiative designed to unite the country to zero fatalities on one day by encouraging motorists to obey all traffic laws such as wearing seatbelts, sticking to the posted speed, avoiding distraction while driving and driving safely, the press release states.
“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,” notes Giuliani in the press release.
“Our chief likes to enforce it all month,” says Giuliani. “We do a whole month campaign out there,” and have been doing so for the past three years. The ultimate goal is more of an “educational component,” he adds.
The decoy vehicles will serve to slow people down, says Giuliani. The speed control devices will inform drivers how fast they are driving. Extra speed limit signs may be placed in the middle of roads or on cross walks.
“We try to get them out as much as possible,” says Giuliani. “Since October is traffic awareness month, we’ll get more out.”
More summons or warnings may be issued during the month of October with the increased patrols and enforcement, he says.
“We enforce everyday but this month we crack down even more,” he says. “It’s before the holidays; it’s a good time to get the message out to drive safely. That’s what the goal is, to bring more awareness. If you’re not driving properly, it’s dangerous.”
Giuliani explains, “If enforcement is gonna be up, people tend to drive a little better and become more aware. It’s good for the residents who drive through Randolph regularly.
“Officers are not out there to give more tickets,” explains Giuliani. They are out there to raise more awareness. “It’s not a money maker for the town.” With motor vehicle laws, “if you stop someone, it’s an educational component,” he reiterates. “That doesn’t change this month. We are going to be more visible and more focused, to increase the enforcement, to increase the presence” so that “will resonate in peoples’ minds that they drive a little better.”
Giuliani says “if they see the signs we hope they will change their measures of driving.”
Last year in NJ there were 562 individuals who lost their lives in motor vehicle related crashes, up from 556 the year prior, according to the RTPD press release.