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Madden Legislation Would Declare New Jersey A Hero Campaign State

Would work to reduce driving fatalities, injuries and accidents nationwide by promoting designated driving.

TRENTON – A resolution sponsored by Senator Fred H. Madden which would declare the State of New Jersey as a HERO Campaign state, and work to reduce the number of driving fatalities, injuries and accidents by promoting the use of designated driving was unanimously approved today by the Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

“The HERO program will help raise awareness and work to decrease the number of drunk driving fatalities, injuries and accidents by promoting designated driving,” said Senator Madden (D-Gloucester, Camden). “Preventing intoxicated drivers from getting behind the wheel of an automobile would make the roads safer for everyone and that is the goal of the HERO campaign.”

The HERO campaign was started in August 2000 by the parents of Ensign John Ellison of Egg Harbor Township, after his tragic death in a head on collision, which was caused by a drunk driver. The driver had a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit, had been arrested hours earlier and was released to a friend who gave the keys back to the still drunk driver, said Senator Madden.

Senator Madden’s legislation, SJR-60, would declare the State of New Jersey a HERO Campaign state as of December 18, 2006, and make New Jersey the first state to endorse the campaign. The resolution would call upon the Governor to issue a proclamation calling upon the public officials and the citizens of New Jersey to observe the declaration throughout the State with appropriate activities and programs.

On December 18, 2006, Governor Corzine signed a proclamation designating New Jersey as the first HERO Campaign state and urging public officials and citizens to observe the day with appropriate activities and programs. The HERO campaign also successfully promoted the enactment of “John’s Law,” a law which requires the disclosure of possible third party liability if a DUI arrestee released to the custody of a third party operates a motor vehicle and also requires law enforcement officers to impound the cars of such DUI arrestees for up to 12 hours.

This legislation would make permanent the Governor’s proclamation.

The resolution now heads to the full Senate for approval.

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