Stay alive: Why officials in Monmouth County, NJ are warning drivers
Following a historically deadly summer on Monmouth County roadways, Acting Prosecutor Lori Linskey and the county’s police chiefs are urging motorists to be especially careful heading into the autumn season.
According to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, 13 people died in July due to vehicular incidents, the highest such figure recorded in any month since at least 2014.
A total of 41 people died as the result of accidents occurring on area roadways so far this year, eclipsing the figures recorded in each of the last four full calendar years.
An analysis performed by the prosecutor’s office revealed that the 41 deaths resulted from 34 separate incidents, including 26 collisions, and eight instances of a pedestrian being struck and killed by a vehicle.
“We are seeking the public’s help in preventing as many of these traffic accidents as possible, by taking proactive steps to stay safe and protect one another,” Linskey said.
About half of the individuals killed as the result of those collisions were not wearing seat belts at the time, prosecutors said. Seven of the incidents involved a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs, with seven more incidents currently under review.
Each pedestrian killed this year was not in a marked crosswalk at the time they were struck.
“Even one death on Monmouth County roadways is one too many,” said Manasquan Police Chief Michael Bauer, President of the Monmouth County Police Chiefs Association.
The analysis also found that the victims ranged in age from 3 to 92. The individuals who died in July alone included a mother and her youngest child, a son and both of his parents, and a group of three friends traveling together.
“Each of these 41 individuals left behind people who loved them, people who never dreamed that they would be gone so soon,” Linskey said.
The solution is simple, she added. If anyone consumes alcohol or drugs, don’t get behind the wheel of a car. Don’t use a cell phone while driving. Obey posted speed limits and road signs. Only cross the street in a marked crosswalk, and only when given the right of way. Wear a seat belt always, no matter how short the car ride may be.
“I and my fellow police chiefs stand in firm solidarity on this issue, resolutely pledging to leverage every strategic enforcement tool available to us in an effort to protect the safety and security of our motorists and pedestrians,” Bauer said.
It is important that everyone exercise a little patience and understanding in order to arrive at their destinations safely and alive, Linskey said. Extra caution should be exercised on all roadways, whether they are local and back roads or major highways.