Wyckoff Avenue or Abbey Road?
COPS IN CROSSWALKS
As motorists drive through Wyckoff they may encounter pedestrians attempting to cross the road. It could be a woman pushing a baby stroller, children attempting to get to school, an elderly couple walking slowly, a man in a kilt with a bagpipe, or four police officers who look absolutely nothing like the Beetles. Whoever it may be, motorists must stop for all pedestrians. In response to complaints from residents that drivers are not obeying the pedestrian crossing laws, Wyckoff Chief of Police Benjamin C. Fox announced that the police department will begin aggressive enforcement of the pedestrian laws.
New Jersey law requires that all drivers of a vehicle must stop and stay stopped for pedestrians crossing the roadway in a marked crosswalk. Drivers approaching from the rear of a car stopped for a pedestrian cannot overtake and pass the stopped vehicle. The exception to the requirement to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk is when the driver is traveling straight through a green traffic signal. Conversely, pedestrians cannot enter the roadway when a vehicle is approaching and is so close that it is impossible for the driver to stop or yield. Drivers should be especially cautious when making left turns. Typically before you turn, the driver is focused straight ahead to assure that they can turn in front of approaching traffic. However, you must be observant of any pedestrians crossing on the adjacent street as you make the turn. Be concerned about your own personal liability when driving. The New Jersey pedestrian law states that in the event of a collision between a pedestrian and vehicle when the pedestrian is in a marked crosswalk or an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, there shall be a permissive inference that the driver did not exercise due care for the safety of the pedestrian.
The Wyckoff Police Department will begin their “COPS IN CROSSWALKS” program. Decoy officers in plain clothes will be assigned to intersections. They will repeatedly cross the street looking for approaching drivers that are of sufficient distance away that fail to stop. The driver that doesn’t stop for the pedestrian will then be, well, stopped. This time by a police officer who will issue a summons for failing to stop for a pedestrian. Violators face penalties of $200 and two points on their driver’s license.
The officers assigned to the Wyckoff Police Traffic Bureau had fun recreating the iconic Beetles Abbey Road crossing. Hopefully our attempt at humor will motivate drivers to seriously think about the importance of obeying the pedestrian safety laws and contributing to a safer community. So, whether you’re driving on Wyckoff Avenue, Abbey Road, or any roadway in New Jersey; be a responsible driver and stop for pedestrians.
Wyckoff Police photo by Lt. David Murphy
Volkswagen courtesy of Joe Heidt Motors, Ramsey, NJ
“Drive with caution and always plan for extra travel time”