We apparently know how to drive defensively well enough, but the term "speed limit" is still escaping some of us, according to the summary of law enforcement activity on Ocean County's Route 539 during the just-concluded, three-week safety campaign.

Route 539 Safety Campaign (Ocean Co. Prosecutor's Office)

"The initiative raised significant awareness among the motoring public regarding the safety issues along CR 539," said Ocean Coiunty Prosecutor Joseph Coronato in prepared comments, "but more important it has coordinated efforts by Ocean County Law Enforcement, Engineering and Road Departments to take important steps toward making commuting along CR 539 safer."

More significantly, all the interacting agencies now have the patrolling down to a science. That means that any time the sometimes-treacherous county highway shows signs of escalating collision and/or fatality rates, they can quickly reorganize and start saturation patrols again.

First, the good news: no fatalities at all between July 20 and August 6. Now, the rest: Local and county officers and New Jersey State Police stopped 268 vehicles and issued 109 citations, authorities said. Of the 109 summonses issued, 31 were for breaking the speed limit. Commercial vehicles were cited for 15 violations, and two drug arrests were logged.

Police weer also on the lookout for crash-contributing factors such as aggressive, inattentive or impaired driving, improper passing and turning, driving while under the influence, disregard of traffic signals, tailgating, equipment defects, and commercial vehicles carrying excessive weight or insufficient brake pressure.

The initiative covered 37 miles in Ocean County, from Tuckerton to Plumsted, with patrols provided by police in Tuckerton, Little Egg Harbor, Stafford, Barnegat, Lacey, Manchester, Jackson and Plumsted, along with details from the Ocean County Sheriff's Department and Prosecutor's Office, and New Jersey State Police Troop "C"'s Tactical Patrol Unit and contingents form the Red Lion and Tuckerton barracks.

Ancillary participants are the Ocean County Board of Freeholders and Road and Engineering Departments, and the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety.

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