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5/12/2006

Red Cross to join SJTA's Safety Awareness Day

The American Red Cross is joining the South Jersey Transportation Authority’s Safety Awareness Day program, held the Friday (May 26) of Memorial Day weekend, the traditional beginning of the summer season at the New Jersey Shore. This is a first for the SJTA’s annual safety consciousness-raising festival.

The Penn Jersey Region of the American Red Cross will conduct an all-day blood drive for the public and SJTA employees, while the traveling public is both entertained and educated by displays and demonstrations at the Farley Service Plaza. Penn Jersey officials encourage the public to make advance appointments – to lessen waiting times. Interested persons can go to the Red Cross website (www.pleasegiveblood.org/ ) and click on the “Schedule Your Donation” box. Enter the zip code the Farley Service Plaza, 08037.

Another method is to call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) and make an appointment. That number can be used to confirm or cancel an appointment.

“We encourage people to make appointments. It makes giving blood more convenient and makes us much more efficient,” said Chris Englerth of the Penn Jersey Region. “Is this a good time for a blood donation? There’s always a need for blood, especially during a holiday.”

In alliance with NJ DOT, the New Jersey State Police and radio stations WPHT (1210 AM) and WOGL (98.1 FM), the SJTA is holding its annual safety education program at the Farley Service Center on the Expressway Friday May 26 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Shorebound motorists will get an underwritten ride from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. – courtesy of the two radio stations. They are paying the tolls for eastbound vehicles during that hour.

Refreshments will be provided by HMS Host, which offers the many food choices at the Farley Plaza. Another sponsor is Sunoco, which operates the gas station at Farley. Throughout the festivities – from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. -- WPHT host Susanne LaFranke and WOGL’s "Big Ron" O’Brien will provide live coverage, while CBS-Channel 3 traffic reporter Bob Kelly also will broadcast from Safety Awareness Day.

At Farley, the State Police will offer parents of young children a safety check of their car seats and installation. The State Police will have a demonstration of boating safety tips, using a vessel from their own marine force. The SJTA will display an EMT vehicle with team members to explain how they save lives – and the wisdom of preventing accidents with safety awareness. Also on display will be one of the Authority’s popular Emergency Service Patrol trucks, which assist disabled vehicles on the Atlantic City Expressway free of charge.

A new feature will be the SJTA's newest member of its security force, State Police dog "Ike" and his handler, Trooper Paul Whittaker.

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