In spite of the gloomy and chilly weather on Saturday May 25th, there was considerable vehicle traffic and a large number of pedestrians in the area of the Sea Girt Police Department’s pedestrian safety operation. The operation was conducted at the intersection of 1st Avenue and Beacon Boulevard. It was conducted for a period of two hours between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. This area often sees a large number of pedestrians in the area. The beach and bathing pavilion is located one block to the east. The Parker House (a bar and restaurant) as well as the Beacon House (a bed and breakfast) are both located at this intersection.
During the pedestrian safety enforcement operation plain clothed officers were walking across First Avenue in the south crosswalk at Beacon Boulevard. During this period there were 30 drivers who were found to violate New Jersey’s pedestrian safety laws. They were stopped and educated about the laws by uniformed officers. All of the drivers were given a warning for their violation and were provided a pamphlet which explains the law and any penalties which a driver might face if they fail to stop and stay stopped for pedestrians.
Officers also had the opportunity to speak to approximately 20 pedestrians who were in the area. Some were curious about the operation and officers took the time to explain the operation and the laws regarding pedestrian safety. Some were observed crossing in areas other than sidewalks and were educated in the right of way laws and how they can be safer.
The Sea Girt Police Department plans on conducting additional pedestrian safety decoy operations in the future. Since pedestrian safety is a priority, officers will routinely enforce the pedestrian right of way laws while on patrol.
The following link will show you the warning pamphlet which was provided to the drivers who were stopped during this operation.
On Saturday May 25th, the Sea Girt Police Department will be conducting a pedestrian decoy operation on First Avenue at Beacon Boulevard during the afternoon hours. This intersection will be targeted due to the high number of pedestrians who cross at this intersection due to its proximity to the beach and bathing pavilion. The Sea Girt Police Department receives complaints from citizens about drivers who often fail to stop as required.
The purpose of the pedestrian decoy operation is to target drivers who are discourteous to pedestrians crossing in designated crosswalks and help educate drivers who are not familiar with the pedestrian right of way laws.
During the operation an officer, in plain clothes will cross the roadway at clearly marked, designated crosswalks. These officers will make it clear that they intend to cross the roadway. Violators of the pedestrian right of way laws will be stopped and educated in an effort to prevent future pedestrian collisions. Officers will also take the opportunity to educate pedestrians who are observed crossing in areas other than designated crosswalks.
In 2012 there were 553 traffic fatalities in the State of New Jersey and 163 of those were pedestrians1. In Monmouth County there were 10 pedestrians killed in traffic collisions in 20122. New Jersey has a high pedestrian fatality rate, at 1.58 per 100,000 population, it ranks 11th worst in the nation (2010)3.
Drivers in the State of New Jersey are required to stop and stay stopped for pedestrians who are crossing a roadway in a crosswalk and no driver shall pass a vehicle stopped for a pedestrian crossing in a crosswalk. Pedestrians crossing New Jersey’s streets shall cross at crosswalks when available.
Pedestrian decoy enforcement operations are expected to take place periodically throughout the busy summer months in Sea Girt, but pedestrian safety is a concern everyday and therefore our officers will routinely enforce these laws at all times while out on patrol.
The Sea Girt Police Department hopes, through publicizing this enforcement operation in advance, the number of violations will be greatly reduced and pedestrian crossings will be safer.