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Bergen County police cite 93 for violation of pedestrian law

Last week, in a display of creative law enforcement, an Elmwood Park police officer put on plain clothes and spent three hours walking back and forth across Broadway to test local drivers' knowledge of the state's relatively new pedestrian crossing law. However, the measure turned out to be successful: police officers issued 93 tickets to drivers for noncompliance with the law.

Bergen County residents have long complained about the dangerous crosswalk, which connects the New Jersey Transit parking lot to the Fair Lawn Rail Station. In an effort to decrease pedestrian accidents and increase general safety, the Broadway Improvement Authority added signs and two sets of flashing red lights to indicate drivers that pedestrians are using the crosswalk.

In addition, New Jersey lawmakers also increased the responsibilities and penalties for failing to yield to pedestrians. Under the new law, which took effect last year, drivers now have to come to a complete stop for pedestrians in painted sidewalks. If they fail to do so, they will be forced to pay a $200 fine and will lose two points on their driver's license. Formerly, drivers were only required to yield at crosswalks, not come to a full stop.

During the Elmwood Park sting, the plain clothes officer who walked back and forth in the crosswalk said that he heard a great deal of anger from drivers who were annoyed that he was slowing down their commute. They understood the reason, however, one block later when they were stopped by police and issued tickets.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a driver who did not comply with the New Jersey pedestrian crossing law, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: NorthJersey.com, "Broadway crosswalk yields 93 Elmwood Park tickets," John Cichowski, August 4, 2011

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