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New Jersey Governor Issues Seat Belt Warning

Updated:
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) _ ``I'm New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, and I should be dead.''

So begins Corzine's public service announcement promoting seat belt use, which is being released Thursday. The governor was seriously injured in an April 12 car crash in which he wasn't wearing a seat belt.

Corzine worked with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration on the message, which was released to coincide with Memorial Day weekend travel.

He taped the announcement May 15 at the governor's mansion in Princeton, where he is recuperating. A clip made available on the governor's Web page shows Corzine sitting in the library. Audio and video versions of the message were being released to broadcast outlets nationwide.

After his opening, Corzine details his injuries as video plays of the wrecked SUV he was riding in. Corzine broke his leg, 11 ribs, collar bone and sternum in the crash and spent 18 days in the hospital.

``It took a remarkable team of doctors and a series of miracles to save my life when all I needed was a seat belt,'' Corzine says.

He then advises, ``I have to live with my mistake. You don't. Buckle up.''

Corzine has apologized and voluntarily paid a $46 fine for violating state law by failing to buckle up as he rode in the front seat of his SUV, which was driven by a state trooper. It crashed after it was clipped by a pickup truck on the Garden State Parkway. The SUV was going 91 mph in a 65 mph zone.

The release of the Corzine PSA comes during the annual ``Click It or Ticket'' seat belt enforcement campaign by law enforcement agencies across the country.

AAA says using a seat belt reduces the risk of death by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50 percent for front seat passengers.
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