Police to Target Motorists not Yielding to Pedestrians

| 24 Comments
Over the past several weeks, the Metuchen Police have investigated several accidents in which pedestrians and/or bicyclists were struck by motor vehicles.  In two instances, motorists fled and their identities have yet to be determined. 
 
This past fall, the police department participated in a campaign for pedestrian safety as the result of a grant from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety.  During the campaign, officers issued 240 summonses for drivers who failed to yield to pedestrians in a cross walk.   The police are planning another campaign in early spring - regardless of grant funds. 
 
They would like to remind motorists to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists on the roadway of our community; be aware of our lighted crosswalks and yield to the lights when a pedestrian is crossing.
 
Pedestrians should also be vigilant when crossing the road: Cross in crosswalks or at corners and refrain from jaywalking.

24 Comments

That's the surest way to slow others down, slow down yourself when driving through town. Let's be honest, it is not only non-Metuchen drivers who cause problems. At least if we drive slowly through our own town, we can make a small difference.

It's a state DOT project, so I doubt the county had any choice in the matter.

Edison didnt allow that, that is a Middlesex County Park.

Metuchen was not made so that cars can zip through as efficiently as possible. That's what Edison was made for. (Note how Edison allowed a beautiful corner of Roosevelt Park to be cleared for a jughandle.)

I am encouraged by this effort to crack down on cars zipping through the town. One reason Metuchen is a great place is its walkability.

I used to live on Main Street (on the south side) and I used to do whatever I could personally to calm the traffic. I would drive at 15 mph. I would take time turning left or right. I encourage motorists of like mind to adopt some of these best practices.

That's my $0.02.

Casey Clark


maybe if people would hang up their cell phones long enough to pay attention -- they would see pedestrians in cross walks -- and they would have enough time to stop! no need for fancy bells and whistles or lighted cross walks -- just good old common sense. hang up and drive!

If you read my earlier post, one of those reflective signs hurled on to my lawn from about 50 feet away. If I was out doing my lawn it is fair probability that I may have been struck. It is all in the odds. That particular sign has been through 4 or 5 at speed impacts. I do not know of one sign in Metuchen that does not show damage. As to speed bumps, I understand that it depends, we have tried them before in Metuchen with little to mixed success and the above writer is correct, we have had noise complaints from using the bumps.


Another thing that might work is a
push button traffic light on a timer.

Most drivers have a stop-at-red-light reflex.

It should be uncomplicated to design an
inexpensive one.

Nicely it would not have the same (ongoing)
road maintenance issues as lighted crosswalks.

Have you driven down Beechwood Ave or Calvert Ave or many of the other streets in Edison that have speed humps? You really do have to slow down to 15 to go over them. But they are noisy. Every landscaper trailer that goes over them makes a loud noise. So the neighborhod gets a tradeoff: slower traffic, but less peace and quiet.

And I don't think the snowplow drivers like them.


I think a prominent reflective yield cone in the middle AND several speed bumps leading to the crosswalk would be effective most of the time.

It is easier for a driver to consider stopping
at a pedestrian crossing if she/he is moving slowly
already.

Drivers hate to break their momentum for crosswalks.

I expect speed bumps aren't too expensive?

Thoughts?

The cops can't be everywhere. While they're writing the guy on Amboy a ticket, twenty more are failing to yield on Main Street. It's unfortunate that this particular law is not stressed more. I used to be against cameras, but have changed my mind. They always say that driving is a privilege, not a right. The complaint always is that if you only get the license plate, the owner of the car is penalized unfairly. What, you don't know who is driving your car? If you don't know who is driving it, something is wrong there. Seems that with the technology available today, we ought to be able to get a clear photo of the car and the driver so the right person is ticketed.

I walk to work everyday and consider it a risky lifestyle behavior. I cross in a crosswalk on Amboy Ave and no one stops. There was even a day when a cop did stop for me but the drivers in the other direction continued to blow by until he used his loud speaker to make them stop, but he ticketed no one. And during the winter, I do sometimes take to the road because the sidewalks are too icy and dangerous to walk on, although the road is unsafe because of the cars. I love working in town because I can walk but at the same time, drivers do not drive with care or caution where pedestrians are concerned so the walk can feel just as stressful as a long car commute. I wish the council or appropriate committee would address this issue more seriously.

You raise a good question about sidewalks. I am not sure you can make anyone put a sidewalk on an existing approved property. This is not a socialist country--yet. Now, you can make the Boro put sidewalks in and the question is where are you going to get the money from? Bonding? I do not think so.

As to the buses it is a funding issue as opposed to eliminating them. Busing is not something that that I think is going to do too well in a town vote if the Board exceeds the cap. If you heard recent board meetings they are under clear directives from the state to not exceed the cap. They sure do have their work cut out for them don't they?

Another question - why are there so many houses in town, including those on Grove across from the high school - that have no sidewalks? Those houses should be made to put in sidewalks. Also, why is it that even when there are sidewalks, some people walk in the road? Do they have a death wish?

you know what? we live in a cut-through town. people cut through, and have no regard for whoever else is on the road. yesterday, i was cut-off on main street by the car in the left lane who decided NOT to turn left on amboy. last year -- i stopped for kindergarten children crossing bounty - and the car behind me went around me -- with both diane (the crossing guard) and parents and children IN the crosswalk. fortunately, the driver noticed and stopped (on the wrong side of the road) and the children could continue to cross. i don't understand how people can be so wrapped up in their own thoughts that they can't see pedestrians -- especially during school hours and in school cross walks. i think that the police should ticket people who disregard pedestrians.

anyway -- why isn't there a crossing guard at grove and norris for the highschool? the choice is to cross grove without a crossing guard OR walk along the edge of grove to cross over the train overpass, then cross with the guard. i don't want my child walking along the edge of grove, with traffic, to get to the crossing guard. norris, mason and all of those side streets makes a big neighborhood of highschool students to fend for themselves!

and don't get me started on the bussing -- i'm no stranger to walking around town -- but i live by the highschool -- and i certainly can walk my children to school -- but there is not way that i could get a child to edgar, a child to campbell, and a child to moss ON TIME and walking them all. we do need bussing in this town. i don't care how small it is.

Even if you had caught the plate, without damage to the other person's vehicle or personal injury, the police might not even be able to help you. The state has made it harder for private citizens to file complaints about alleged moving violations. At one time the prosecutor would handle your complaint the same way they handled one filed by the police, and you just had to appear as a witness and be able to identify the driver. Several years back when a car almost ran over my kids and me in one of the flashing crosswalks, we got the plate number and since we saw the driver park nearby, had a good description. The police came and took the information, looked the guy up in the system, and sent him a summons. We had to go to boro hall on court night, met with the prosecutor who wanted to plead it down, and were told if we went into court the prosecutor was not allowed to help us and we would have to prosecute the case ourselves. So we agreed to the plea deal and never actually went into the courtroom. Couple years later when the same thing happened again right in front of boro hall, the police would not take the complaint, said they were told by the state they couldn't do that anymore, said we would have to write to the DMV to get the alleged violator's information (and pay $10 for it), then go to the municipal court to file the complaint, and, again, act as our own prosecutor.

I think the state should allow towns to use cameras to enforce the law requiring drivers to yield to pedestrians. How many more pedestrians have to be hit by cars?

Or when they just run into a car stopped for a pedestrian?

I was crossing Amboy Avenue, and a car making a right turn actually stopped to let me by. The *&?8&^%* behind him runs into his bumper, and then keeps going. Unfortunately I did not catch the license plate ...

Road test? I don't think that is going to help. Even if we required annual continuing education classes, people are of the mind set that the pedestrians are supposed to "look both ways" and wait for an opening to cross.

What is really dangerous is when one car stops for someone who is waiting to cross and the car behind them goes around them. Saw the crossing guard by Campbell almost get hit one day by a car doing this. Also happened at the above mentioned Grove and Oakland intersection before they put up the sign. Stopped for a guy and his dog and the car behind me went around me. Had to yell to the guy with the dog to stop so he didn't get hit - he didn't see the car coming around my truck. Both locations have double yellow lines, too, so that is two moving violations. Clearly, people are not interested in driving safely and legally, just in getting where they want to go.

Kids walk to school in New York City. My sister did all through high school (Manhattan) and her students do so now (Brooklyn). Parents actually walk with their young children! Shocking for some here in the 'burbs, but get real. No taxpayer owes you busing; figure out a way to spare that time to get your own kids to school.

You can bus em or drive em. But at 1.5 million I am not paying anymore for buses then what we paid in 08 at best. Parents are responsible. We can make services available but parents can pay for it.

*During the campaign, officers issued 240 summonses for drivers who failed to yield to pedestrians in a cross walk.*


and yet it is OK to let our children walk across town to and from school?

Darn right they do not stop for crosswalks. Those yield signs also become flying projectiles when struck by high speed vehicles. I have seen it a few times now. I had one flying in the air about 50 feet onto my lawn after being struck by a police cruiser at high speed and I mean high speed in pursuit of a B&E suspect. Damaged the police car but they got the man. As far as I am concerned not the cop's fault either. He did his job. Good job at that. At that speed your side vision diminishes rapidly so you loose the small separation that you would normally had at 35 and the separation is very small to start with. So, why make a cop feel responsible if he is doing his job and I am struck and killed by shrapnel from a sign. That is just wrong.

What we really need to do is all of us get on the back of the state and demand a real and practicable road test for all Driver License qualifiers. We suffer from an influx of newbies from foreign countries, coupled with out of state entrants besides our own chronic in state cases and there is nothing wrong with that. Except that we give a lousy and I mean lousy road qualification test. It is circa 1920. A lot of these people would not pass in other states. Truth is that we spent so much time teaching our kids to drive we forgot about the adults.

Don't get me started on Grove and Oakland I have a half a dozen personal experiences. No a lighted cross walk mean little there. It will be a waste of money. But it will make for a good legal arguement when I am stuck and killed for my widow in a lawsuit to prove the case.

Drivers don't stop for the lighted crosswalks either! And they make repaving the road difficult. Someone needs to make a better design. Maybe something like those rope lights laid in a metal channel, which can be easily removed and replaced when repaving. Quick! To the patent office!

Some people who work downtown have told me they prefer to cross mid-block on Main Street because then they only have to worry about people coming from two directions. They consider the corners more dangerous, especially the people turning left, who are just looking for their opening and not watching for pedestrians.

I would like to see a lighted crosswalk across Grove Avenue near Oakland field. That is a very dangerous intersection to cross because there are always cars turning. A lighted cross walk would make everyone stop for the pedestrians.

Does anyone know just how expensive is it to add more lighted crosswalks?

The regular ones are routinely ignored by
motorists.

The crosswalks that have the "walking person"
cone placed in the middle of the road have a
good chance of being observed too.

There must be other cost effective ideas that work too.

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Recent Comments

  • Anonymous: That's the surest way to slow others down, slow down read more
  • Anonymous: It's a state DOT project, so I doubt the county read more
  • Anonymous: Edison didnt allow that, that is a Middlesex County Park. read more
  • Casey Clark: Metuchen was not made so that cars can zip through read more
  • Anonymous: maybe if people would hang up their cell phones long read more
  • Anonymous : If you read my earlier post, one of those reflective read more
  • jason: Another thing that might work is a push button read more
  • Anonymous: Have you driven down Beechwood Ave or Calvert Ave or read more
  • jason: I think a prominent reflective yield cone in the read more
  • Anonymous: The cops can't be everywhere. While they're writing the guy read more

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