Chief’s Spring Message 2014

Spring has finally arrived!  I would like to thank all the residents for their patience and cooperation during this past winter.  We had to make difficult decisions in reference to parking during and after snowstorms which limited on street parking.  Remember, these decisions must be made with public safety as our primary consideration.

Spring is the time we see a visible increase in pedestrian and vehicle traffic.  It is also the time that many children and adults are riding their bikes and skateboards, are walking from place to place and are playing in the streets and the parks.

The Police Department will continue our enforcement efforts in three areas this year.  The first area is pedestrian crosswalk safety. The law states that all drivers shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross a roadway in a marked crosswalk.  Drivers shall also yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing a roadway at an intersection with an unmarked crosswalk.  The fine for a first offense is $200.00.

The second is driving while talking or texting on a cell phone.  Statistics are showing that the likelihood of being involved in an accident as a result of talking or texting on a cell phone while driving increases significantly.  We will be participating in a NJ State program with the slogan “UDrive, UText, UPay” which will be during the period of April 1st – April 21st, 2014.  This will include both stationary and mobile details specifically targeting these type offenses.  The fine for a first offense is $100.00.

Finally, we are attempting to educate the public as to the speed limits throughout the village. The speed limit on Railroad Avenue is 40 MPH.  The speed limit on North Avenue and Challenger Road is 35 MPH and the speed limit on Route 46 through the residential portion of town is 40 MPH. The speed limit on all other Village streets is 25 MPH.  We have started a project to put speed trailers throughout the Village in different locations to increase motorist’s awareness of their actual speeds while driving.  Fines for speeding vary depending on the speed limit and speed of the driver.  We will also be increasing both stationary and mobile radar details to enforce violations for speeding throughout the Village.

We are committed to having our town remain a safe place for all residents and those who visit and travel through Ridgefield Park!

UDrive-Utext-UPay

uttexudriveupayBeginning April 1 and running through April 21 the Ridgefield Park Police Department will participate in the new national distracted driving enforcement campaign known as UDrive.UText.UPay. This high-profile initiative will target motorists who are talking on hand-held cell phones and sending text messages while driving.

“Distracted driving is a serious issue on our roadways”, said Gary Poedubicky, acting director, state Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “The National Highway Traffic Administration estimates that each year thousands of people are killed in distracted driving related crashes and nearly a half million people are injured”.

While using a hand-held cell phone or texting while driving remains illegal in New Jersey, the practice continues to be widespread. In a 2013 survey conducted by Fairleigh Dickerson University the Division of Highway Traffic Safety, 72 percent of respondents said they “very often” see people driving and talking on hand-held cell phones. A total of 40 percent of respondents said they “very often” see drivers texting.

The campaign is being carried out during the month of April, which is National Distracted Driving Month, and is modeled after similar successful high visibility enforcement campaigns such as Click It or Ticket and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.