NJ Traffic Deaths Spike in 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011  |  Updated 4:51 PM EDT
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NJ Traffic Deaths Spike in 2011

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State police say 230 people have died so far this year in accidents on New Jersey highways.

That's up almost 18 percent from the 195 fatalities for the same period last year.

Officials say there's no clear reason for the spike, but an early analysis indicates distracted driving may be a factor.

State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes said he hopes the statistics will motivate drivers to resist the temptation to text and talk on handheld cellphones.

Thursday's announcement comes as state and local police begin their "101 Days of Summer" enforcement campaign focusing on seat belt and drunken driving enforcement.

Eight people died on New Jersey roads over the 2010 Memorial Day weekend. Authorities say drug or alcohol impairment was a factor in six of those deaths.

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