Ocean County law enforcement aims for zero deaths on Route 539
During the 2015 Ocean County Safety Enforcement Initiative on Route 539, no one died in any crashes through the entire 32-day span. Other than that, officials count 11 fatal collisions from 2013 through July 31 of last year. So, patrol officers hit the highway again as a reminder that responsible driving saves lives.
The initiative along Ocean County's 38-mile, seven-town stretch begins Friday, August 12, and continues through Sunday, August 28.
Police from Tuckerton, Little Egg Harbor, Stafford, Barnegat, Lacey, Manchester, Jackson and Plumsted will patrol, along with squads from the Ocean County Sheriff's Department, Prosecutor's Office, and New Jersey State Police.
Personnel from the Prosecutor's Office will be on the prowl in unmarked cars, transmitting sightings of unsafe and erratic drivers to marked units. Squad cars with automatic license plate readers will be part of the fleet, and the roadside will be dotted with variable-message advisory signs.
The initiative's educational component continues through signs, social media postings, and broadcast elements by all partnering agencies.
Officers on patrol in the 2015 initiative waved about 600 cars to the roadside for a wide range of moving violations and equipment offenses, such as speeding, aggressive driving, improper passing and turning, failure to yield, tailgating, inattentiveness, disregard of signals, overweight trucks and brake pressure on commercial vehicles.
In County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato's view, last year's effort raised awareness of the value of alert, proactive habits behind the wheel, and an understanding of the dangers lurking in 539's twists, turns and straightaways.
"The great news is that we have continued to see zero fatalities to date," Coronato said in prepared remarks. "We want to not only celebrate that success, but use the detail to educate drivers of the wonderful end result of driving responsibly."
The county roads and engineering staffs contributed to the safety push with center-line rumble strips, raised reflective pavement markers, all-weather reflective striping, LED-illuminated curve warnings, and a high-friction road surface designed to reduce skids in sudden stops.