The South Jersey Transportation Authority’s Safety Awareness Day program will be held Friday (May 26) – the start of Memorial Day weekend and the traditional beginning of the summer season at the New Jersey Shore. The annual safety education program will be at the Farley Service Center (Milepost 21) on the Atlantic City Expressway.
A first for the SJTA’s annual safety consciousness-raising festival is the participation by the American Red Cross, which is asking both the public and SJTA employees to donate blood.
The Penn Jersey Region of the American Red Cross will conduct an all-day blood drive, 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 for 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.
“Is this a good time for a blood donation? There’s always a need for blood, especially during a holiday,” said Chris Englerth of the Penn Jersey Region.
In alliance with NJ DOT, the New Jersey State Police and radio stations WPHT (1210 AM) and WOGL (98.1 FM), the SJTA is welcoming the public 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. Sunoco, which operates the gas station at Farley, is offering a “Moon Walk” tent for youngsters, plus safety education with Sunoco giveaway items for the right answers. But the most popular exhibit will be a NASCAR race car, Number 9 of Richard Petty’s Driving Experience, driven on the racetrack by Kasey Kane.
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.