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New Seat Belt and Crosswalk Laws in New Jersey

New Jersey’s seat belt law has been tightened, something safety advocates have long pushed for. Signed on January 18, 2010 and effective immediately, legislation now requires ALL occupants in passenger vehicles including vans, pickup trucks and SUV’s that are required to be equipped with seat belts to buckle up, regardless of their seating position in a vehicle. A secondary offense, the new law allows police to issue summonses to unbuckled back seat occupants, 18 years of age and older, when the vehicle they are riding in is stopped for another violation.

Crash data show that unbelted rear-seat passengers can become high-speed ‘bullets’ during a crash, impacting other passengers with enough force to kill or seriously injure them. Studies show that the use of safety belts by back seat passengers can reduce the chance of death and serious injury up to 75 percent.

In addition, our current pedestrian law has been changed. Drivers are now required to come to a full stop and remain stopped for pedestrians while in a crosswalk or controlled intersection.  Previously, drivers were required to yield to pedestrians. Violators must pay a fine of $200.00 which will be imposed by the courts.

Poison Prevention Week – March 14 – 20, 2010

In recognition of Poison Prevention Week, March 14-20, the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES) is launching “7 Days and 7 Ways to Safety,” a campaign providing simple daily tips that New Jersey residents can follow in order to ensure a safer home or work environment.

As part of the week’s ongoing activities, the Poison Center will post a “tip of the day” on its Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/NJPIES) for improving home safety. Simple steps such as locking up medications or dangerous substances and avoiding the use of containers commonly used for food storage to store nonfood substances will be highlighted. It addition, the campaign will post a daily case study and a photo of products commonly mistaken for each other that cause confusion.

Children under the age of 6 are at greater risk for unintentional poisoning.  Common mishaps occur with look-alike products. One example is over-the-counter cold medication tablets being confused with candies such as M&Ms and Skittles. Exposures among young children typically account for 50% of all calls received by the New Jersey Poison Center.

“We recommend that medicines, liquids and cleaning agents never be removed from their original packaging,” notes Alicia Gambino, NJPIES director of public education. Her reasoning is twofold:

  1. Original packages contain all the ingredient information that allows a poison specialist to better access the protocol needed should someone accidentally come into contact with a toxic agent.
  2. Look-alike products such as tiki oil and apple juice or Ex-lax and chocolate are less likely to be mistaken when they remain in their original packaging.

“We are using Poison Prevention Week and the entire month of March to highlight our 24/7 accessibility to the public,” states NJPIES’ Dr. Marcus. “There are no silly questions, and trained staff is always available to answer a question, quell a fear, provide advice, or intervene to get emergency services on site and prepped to provide the needed protocol in the fastest response time.” He adds, “When in doubt, don’t hesitate to call 1-800-222-1222.”

Get Ahead in the Game – Prevent Concussions: Former Philadelphia Flyer Primeau Shares Concussion Experience

Safe Kids Atlantic/Cape May together with Atlanticare Health Services hosted a sports injury prevention clinic, Get Ahead in the Game – Prevent Concussions, for coaches, athletic trainers, parents and children recently to focus on injury risks associated with ice hockey and lacrosse. 

Former Philadelphia Flyer Keith Primeau discussed a player’s perspective of safety and importance of using correctly fitted, appropriate helmets to prevent concussions in sports.  Primeau retired in 2006 after suffering the most severe concussion in a series of head injuries, ending his 14 year NHL career.

Coaches, athletic trainers, nurses and parents listen intently as Keith Primeau speaks about his experience with multiple concussions, which eventually ended his career with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Given that more than 30 million children nationally participate in sports each year, and over 3.5 million receive medical treatment due to sports injuries, Safe Kids New Jersey believes that youth sports safety is a challenge worth facing.  Watch for more to come from Safe Kids in the upcoming months on sports injury prevention.

At the event, David Cane from Cascade (a manufacturer of sports helmets) demonstrated proper helmet fit for lacrosse and ice hockey: