On July 2nd, 2016 the Sea Girt Police Department conducted a Pedestrian Safety Operation at the intersection of 1st Avenue (County Rt. 49) and Brooklyn Boulevard. This particular intersection was selected due to the amount of pedestrian traffic in the area due to the proximity to the beach, boardwalk, and a bar and restaurant. The holiday weekend and fantastic weather brought an increase in pedestrian traffic in this area.
During the pedestrian safety enforcement operation plain clothed officers were walking across First Avenue in the north crosswalk at Brooklyn Boulevard along with the regular pedestrian traffic. The traffic was monitored for drivers who failed to stop for pedestrians as required by New Jersey Law. A decision point was marked ahead of the intersection which provided drivers with an adequate distance to see and react to pedestrians who wished to cross at the intersection. Drivers were considered in violation only if the pedestrian entered the shoulder area prior to the marked decision point.
The goal of this operation was to educate drivers and pedestrians in order to create a safer environment for traffic moving within the borough. During the 2 hour operation 20 vehicle operators were found to violate the pedestrian crossing statutes. Warnings and education material was provided to 17 of those drivers. The educational pamphlets provided to the violators 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 a number of 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.
Just prior to 3:30 pm, during the safety operation, one motorist, Fernando Camiro (43), of Staten Island, NY was stopped by officers after he failed to stop for 6 pedestrians crossing at this intersection. Mr. Camiro was found to be intoxicated at the time of the stop and was arrested for driving while intoxicated. He was discovered to have a blood alcohol concentration of .28%. He was issued a number of traffic citations which included Driving While Intoxicated, Reckless Driving, Failure to Stop for Pedestrians in a Crosswalk, Unlicensed Driver, Unregistered Vehicle, and Uninsured Motorist.
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.