In the first eight months of this year, State Police Superintendent Col. Pat Callahan said there have been 153 pursuits — up from 102 this time last year.
“We’re on track to have 260 pursuits. It was 160 back in 2006,” Callahan said. “We’ve seen a 50% increase and are probably on track to have the highest number of pursuits in our history of keeping records.”
At his coronavirus briefing on Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy could only speculate as to why pursuits are up so dramatically.
“Lighter traffic, folks being pent up, human nature, stress — whatever it might be,” he suggested.
Whatever the reason, Callahan said there’s no good rationale to drive away from a state trooper.
“Getting out of a traffic summons is no need to put everybody’s life at risk, including the driver of the car, other motorists and certainly law enforcement,” he added.
Car crashes are also up by 34% this year. Callahan said the state has been adding speed warnings to various message signs to remind drivers to slow down.