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On Sept. 2, our nation will celebrate Labor Day. It is a time dedicated to the achievements of American workers and the contributions they have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.

Labor Day weekend not only marks the end of the summer vacation period, it is also one of the most dangerous weekends of the year as people crowd highways and recreational areas for some end-of-summer fun.

Some of you will take advantage of the many recreational activities associated with summer while others will choose to stay home with family and friends. Whatever your plans, remember that a fun-filled holiday weekend can turn tragic when activities get interrupted or are ended as a result of an accident.

Driving too fast, not wearing seat belts, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs remain the primary causes of motor vehicle and motorcycle injury and death.

Take action to reduce your risk by using common sense, exercising safe practices and continuously manage risks. If you drink, don’t drive. If you are driving, drive defensively.

Drowning is another major cause of accidental deaths. The hazards of water activities increase dramatically while drinking or swimming alone. Whenever you participate in water activities, use the buddy system and remember alcohol, sun and watercraft do not mix.

Looking ahead, the fall season is quickly approaching. New risks such as changing weather, reduced hours of daylight and the start of a new school year will require increased awareness. More children will be on or near the streets during our morning and afternoon commutes. Stay alert and watch for children waiting at bus stops, exiting from a bus, walking or riding a bicycle.

This Labor Day, take time to reflect on all the hard work that makes Fort Lee great. I challenge you to stay engaged over the long weekend by incorporating risk management skills into all you do. I wish each member of our team a safe and enjoyable holiday.