WEST TRENTON - Sure, the driver in front of you on the Garden State Parkway is going awfully slow. But resist the urge to ride his rear bumper as a hint to add some speed, or you may find yourself with a traffic ticket and five points added to your driver's license, State Police said Friday.
Starting today, troopers will be out in force on the parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike with unmarked vehicles and a new laser device designed to nab tailgaters, State Police said. Following too close is responsible for one-third of accidents on the two major highways, often resulting in death, injury, property damage and traffic tie-ups, police said.
"Every day, people are proving that they are not giving this law, or their own safety, proper attention. Our troopers will be happy to remind drivers of the dangers of tailgating in hopes that we can avoid cleaning up the accidents that result from it," Col. Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said Friday in a released statement.
The crackdown on tailgaters runs through the end of the month, State Police said. The idea is to reduce the number of accidents by making drivers aware of the safe following distance on the highways.
Drivers should allow one car length for every 10 mph of speed, State Police said. So if you're driving 50 mph, you should leave five car lengths between your own vehicle and the one in front of you. A quick way to measure is to note a marker as the car ahead of you passes it, and count how long it takes you to reach it. If it's less than two seconds, you're too close.
The Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike are among the safest highways in the country, State Police said. They hope their enforcement action will lower the number of crashes even more.
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