Two recent and serious traffic accidents, involving what is alleged to be driver inattention at crosswalks, has caused me to wonder whether there’s much incentive for drivers in Ridgewood to drive within the limits of the law. As both a driver and a pedestrian, I see a lot of crosswalk violations, and from what I observe, the drivers are either not looking, or are simply oblivious to their obligation to yield. Yes, the arguments are made that drivers can’t be expected to stop on a dime, but that’s not what I see. The latest accident involving a crosswalk pedestrian saw a lady in her late 80’s being struck. Come on folks, can you really picture this lady “darting out” into traffic?
As for other driving problems, talking on cell phones while driving is at epidemic proportions. Argue the rights and wrongs of this law all you like, it’s the law. Next time you are in town, just observe passing traffic and you will see about half of the drivers are on the phone, as well as a few of them dialing numbers. For goodness sake Ridgewood drivers, hands-free devices are really cheap. Spend a few bucks and then you can legally yak away all you like.
Speeding is probably the fundamental driving issue in Ridgewood. 25 mph may be the norm in the center of town, merely because driving any faster isn’t possible due to the busy-ness of downtown. Beyond the center, speeds typically reach 35-45 mph. Right now as I type this, I am looking out onto Godwin Avenue and while I don’t claim to be an expert on visually calculating driving speeds, I know for sure that they are doing well over 25 mph.
I’m not looking to bash our PD. I just think that their ticket books need to be produced a little more often. Is there a problem in Ridgewood with not wanting to upset its residents? An environment of zero-tolerance strict traffic enforcement will encourage better driving habits.