Speeders, beware: State readies crackdown
By GEORGE MAST • Courier-Post Staff • June 29, 2009
Police across the state will be cracking down on speeders in upcoming weeks.
Eighteen municipal departments in the tri-county area are participating in the annual Obey the Signs or Pay the Fines initiative.
From Wednesday to July 31, about 75 municipalities will participate in the statewide effort. Each agency will receive a $4,000 state grant to step up patrols during the month.
Lt. David Raso of the Deptford Police Department welcomed the chance to increase patrols through the grant.
The department will focus on Route 47, Raso said.
"It's a highly traveled road and they want to get some increased enforcement out there," he said. "When you have speeding there, it becomes an unsafe thing."
Medford Police Chief Anthony Canale said his department plans to crack down on speeders along Route 70.
"People should be well aware that we are going to be aggressively enforcing the traffic laws over the summer months," Canale said. "Specifically on (Route 70) where we have a host of problems."
Cherry Hill police will use the grant to pay for 20 additional police details in July along problem areas like Chapel Avenue, Springdale Road and parts of Route 70.
State officials say speeding is the most common cause of aggressive driving related traffic crashes. Last year, 22,118 crashes were related to speed, according to Pam Fisher, director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety.
"Motorists simply must slow down and obey the posted speed limit on all roads all the time," she said in a prepared statement.
Fisher said excess speed reduces a driver's ability to navigate curves and other objects in the road and prolongs the distance needed to safely stop a vehicle.
So far this year, 272 people have died in 259 fatal traffic accidents across the state. In 2008, 590 people died in 555 fatal accidents.
Sixty-one people have died on roadways in the tri-county area this year.
Fisher said this is the first year the initiative is being carried out across the state. It was started in 2006 in response to a "pervasive" speeding problem in the state.
During the program's first year a total of 6,357 speeding summonses were issued. Last year, the initiative was expanded and 10,898 speeding tickets were issued.
Reach George Mast at (856) 486-2465 or firstname.lastname@example.org