Multiple police departments in Middlesex County are teaming up to intensify enforcement of distracted and aggressive driving.

Officials in the county are tired of leading the state in fatal crashes in road deaths. They're hoping the new partnership, which includes assistance from New Jersey State Police, will save lives and force you to think twice before making a dumb decision behind the wheel.

"Think about the consequences of your actions. If you can't do that, we'll be more than willing to help," said North Brunswick Police Capt. Brian Hoiberg.

Hoiberg said since the pandemic, people appear to have "gotten used to driving more aggressively" with fewer consequences.

"I think this is needed to rein everybody back in," he said.

North Brunswick has been running its own traffic safety initiative since January, cracking down on speeders, aggressive drivers, and motorists who can't keep their eyes on the road.

To go along with awareness initiatives, the department has been shifting some detectives from investigative work to highway patrol on a temporary basis.

But only recently did the stepped-up safety effort start receiving support from nearby towns, such as South Brunswick and Edison. Officials are hyper-focused on highways such as Route 1.

"Not only do we focus on the cell phones and other distracted driving," said Lt. Erik Jacobsen. "It's also aggressive driving — running red lights, we have people using the shoulder to pass."

Weekly, Jacobsen said, several New Jersey State Police vehicles are dispatched along the county's roads to assist with enforcement.

According to NJSP data, Middlesex County recorded the highest number of fatal crashes (58) and road deaths (60) among the 21 counties. The county had the same distinction in 2022 — 67 deaths across 64 fatal crashes.

Middlesex County has recorded 25 road deaths so far in 2024, as of Thursday. Three people lost their lives in April in a five-vehicle morning crash along Route 1.

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