A need for increased police traffic enforcemen

In Uncategorized on December 6, 2008 at 6:15 pm

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.


  1. I completely agree. More diligence by police officers in the downtown area would hopefully make it safer. Anyone who fails to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk should be ticketed on the spot – the same goes for cell phone usage.

  2. Did anyone notice that the driver and both pedestrians were NOT Ridgewood residents? We tend to criticize the “residents” and “soccer moms” for abusing the Village ordinances. The reality in downtown is that it is often non-residents abusing our ordinances.

    As far as an 80 year old woman “darting” in to traffic…no, I don’t think she darted in from of an elderly driver. I do believe that the two elderly women walked into the cross walk, without looking and that the elderly driver could not react in time or was slow to react.

  3. yes we do need a cop in the town from 7am to 9pm.

  4. we do have a cop on the footpost during a large part of the daytime!

  5. I think they should write everything that moves. No warnings, only summonses…but as soon as a couple residents get tickets they will go crying to the mayor and council saying the police should only be writing out-of-towners.

  6. Yeah, maybe he can run after all the cell phone and crosswalk violators.

  7. Well last night this intersection was rediculous. The usual cop car was on the corner outside the coffee shop and another cop was on the corner across the street. They put flares out on the street (about 8pm) just to get people’s attention. It was a really quiet night in town, plenty of parking and room in restaurants. Ridgewood and Oak needs a traffic light not this temporary over reaction!!!

  8. i have lived here for 45 years. there always used to be at least one cop assigned to that walking post who was directing traffic.(and also was the ambulance driver when needed during that 8-4 day shift) I cannot in recent memory recall EVER seeing a cop directing traffic. I see them @ Van Neste Park there SITTING in their patrol cars, engines idling, chatting with each other. The police dept needs to be pro-active=get your a$$ out of the car, get in the middle of the intersection, and DIRECT TRAFFIC. Or is that ‘not in the contract’??

  9. How about tickets for jaywalking?

  10. The higher the volume of traffic both pedestrian and vehicular will dictate a higher percentage of accidents. No one is careening around town. More Police during the holidays would be prudent because there will be in all probability more accidents. The Police presence is not punitive but to be of help to those involved.

  11. There will be even more accidents when the hopital expands and brings more traffic and congestion. Only 1 or 2 additional beds = additional outpatient = more traffic.

  12. I have no idea if there’s any truth to this, but I was told that there is a reluctance to issue moving violation tickets in Ridgewood due to police overtime needed to attend court, as well as generally clogging up the court calendar. I’m sure that one of our esteemed PD bloggers will confirm or deny this.

  13. Tickets for jaywalking are in order. I have had this experience at RHS in the morning and afternoon when students jaywalk at the corner of Brookside and East Ridgewood Avenue. Cars are trying to move through a green light in both directions,
    and the “entitled” students completely disregard the light and walk out holding up traffic. It is a dangerous situation and makes the gridlock even worse when traffic cannot move. Instead of the security guards that are posted in the parking lot directing traffic, we need a cop at this intersection preventing this jaywalking before someone gets hit by a car.

  14. I was downtown on Saturday afternoon. I attemted to cross East Ridgewood Avenue at Cottage Place when a car blew right past me. He saw me walk out into the intersection, but sped up and made me jump back so I was not hit. A police officer was busy ticketing a truck that was illegally parked in front of the movie theatre. I would rather have had the cop watching the crosswalk and issuing a moving violation to the driver that could have hit me if I were less vigilent.

  15. Keeping Ridgewood a pedestrian friendly village should be a priority. Not only will it mean happy and healthy residents who are willing to walk and jog more, but it will mean more kids walking safely to and from school and so less cars parking and double parking near our schools. It will also mean that our restaurants will enjoy added walkby customers.

    Our Village has a lot to offer. I hope that people will continue to come to Ridgewood because they know about our great food and our concern for pedestrian SAFETY.

  16. Now here is a perfect example of “people are never happy”. 11:27 just gave us such a dramatic story about how he had to JUMP back because of what he thought was a car in the crosswalk. He continues to say that a police officer was busy writing a ticket. Now, here we have poeple complaining about ticket productivity in Ridgewood and yet, there was the cop issuing a summons. But, just becasue the cop wasn’t paying attention to YOU at that particular time, your all pissed off. Did you say anything to the cop? NO, did you get the plate number of the car and follow up with the municipal court? NO. People, if you see a violation and you feel strongly about it…get the plate, go to violations and sign a complaint. You have that right. Be brave and don’t be afraid of confrontation. Go to court and stand up for yourself. Jesus, if the police could see EVERYTHING that was wrong in town or anywhere else…..There would be no crime, no accidents and no need for their services.

  17. I tell you what needs to be done in our Village. We have to have some type of enforcement with people running red lights. It really is amazing the amount of people in town who run red lights. Maybe it is time to get the little cameras put up on the traffic signals.

  18. 11:23 – Do you ever say anything to the police about the children who enter a crosswalk after the signal has changed? If you don’t then don’t complain.

  19. hire more cops, more cops = more traffic enforcement. once a 50 man police department now a 40, maybe 42. the village has more traffic now, larger population, and more pedestrian traffic in town than 20 years ago.

  20. 2:52! YOU ROCK!
    You said everything i was going to say, yet i’ll add more..
    more Traffic lights?!?
    First. People Blow them and at higher rates of speed because they are speeding up through the yellow.. second.. If there is too much congestion to do that act of speed up on yellow, where do you suppose all the OTHER cars that are stopped are going to go? There will be so much bottle necking and even MORE traffic because now everyone is STOPPED.
    Oh and for the record. COPS AREN’T EVERYWHERE. They cannot be all and see all.

  21. 3:27 the cops make an easy $100,000 per year. its THEIR job to enforce the law. if the citizens just went to the violations bureau to do the cops job..then i guess we wouldnt need to pay them 100k plus benefits to sit at van neste sq in their patrol cars?

  22. I agree…and it is their job to enforce the law. But, do you know what they do instead? First of all, in the morning, they have to be at a school post to act as crossing guards because the town can’t seem to find any. So, there’s 45 min. of police work shot to hell right there. Then, at lunch time, they do it again. Then, after school..guess what, more school posts. How about another job the police have. driving a representitive from the finace dept. to the bank every day of the week so they can make a deposit. And here’s the kicker….at night, at least once a week. Instead of members of the VC coming to village hall to pick up their mail..the police are used as mailmen and have to drop it off at their houses. Now I ask you…is this what you are paying the PD to do?? I think not. They are however doing what they are told to do. So, I would say it’s pretty damn hard to enforce the law when the town is having them do ridiculous jobs like these.

  23. It is not just the HS students who jaywalk. It is the resident and non resident adults walking through town.

    Once the light at the HS changes to blinking in the evening pedestrians don’t have a chance. Cars fly by at 40 (yes, I can tell) and never give the pedestrians on the sidewalk a chance. That light should never change over to blinking. The HS is in use till 11:00 most weekdays.

  24. ummm 5;19 and 7;54… it would be absurd to hire more cops when I see TWO, sometimes THREE patrol cars parked in town, doing NOTHING other than chatting with each other waiting for a radio call. Kinda tough to convince the taxpaying public there is a shortage of labor to get the job done. Think about it. (also, do you really need all high paid that ‘brass’ in town? Do we need THAT many ‘supervisors”? Isnt a patrol officer competent to make a decision on his own??)

  25. 7:35 How do you even know what those 3 officers are talking about?
    They could be talking about an order from a Sgt. or Lt. or a “keep your eye out for a person like this” or anything police related.. are you there listening and talking with them? No, you aren’t so before you go poppin shots at the PD you should get all your facts.. oh and for those that think it’s that easy to just hire cops to enforce the laws.. that woul dmean your tax dollars would go up lol.. Something else to gripe about!

  26. oh, and 7:35.. yes you DO need that many supervisors.. every squad in pretty much every town in the state has 1 Lt. and 1 Sgt.. it’s the chain of command, which, if you were in the military or law enforecement or any other STRUCTURED job you would understand.. Companies have presidents managers supervisers etc.. they all have different responsibilities. it’s what keeps the order at a manageable level.
    The patrol officer CAN and DOES make decisions on his/her own.. It’s the higher ups that have to answer for those decisions shall they come under scrutiny. So, in parting, it takes everyone to be diligent.. If a cop doesn’t SEE a violation, bring it to their attention. Remember, they are human and they can’t BE and SEE everything..

  27. If a cop doesnot see the violation. you can certainly take down the information and write a ticket by yourself. Or is that too much work. You guys just want to sit on the blog and blame other people

  28. According to one police officer the most recent accident involving the two older women was captured on the police video camera parked across the street. The officer said that the two older women were busy talking and walked right into the street without looking.

  29. After reading this blog, I had no idea how hard the drivers in this town have it. There must be a media coverup of all these kamikaze pedestrians because I certainly have not read about them before. I am scared to leave my house now for fear of one of these pedestrians lunging out and striking my car. I pay a lot of money in taxes and for my car and should not have to be subjected to such a dangerous nuisance. This is Ridgewood for goodness sake. We move here so that we do not have to deal with carjackings and drive-by shootings. We definitely should not have to deal with these walk-by attacks either.

  30. 815/820..same poster so I shall respond once. I am quite familiar with the ‘chain of command’. I was in the military while you were chasing the good humor truck. We do not need multiple layers of sgt, ltnt, to report from EACH juvenile bureau, det bureau, patrol bureau. Its a joke. and in the biz world, those multiple layers of paperpushers got laid off because they werent worth their salaries. And I know as well as you do what the 2-3 patrol vehicles were doing..for HOURS on a DAILY basis..’nothing’ but checking out the ‘sights’. If they were told to ‘look out for so and so’ it would be via ‘chat’ using those expensive computers in the cars. The reality is that working in the village is EASY. Its not paterson and don’t try to make it out like it is. Maybe the Village manager can investigate hiring special officers for traffic duty. There is no shortage of ‘wannabees’ out there that would work for free. In the interest of job security, you might get off your a$$, OUT of the patrol car, and be PRO-ACTIVE and direct traffic. Long before you worked here ‘whistling jack’ would be in that intersection 8 hours a day doing a great job and nobody got ran over.

  31. Maybe we'll be able to see the pedestians at night when the town finally gets PSE&G to replace all the burned out lights. The also used to be a gigantic light on to of the Ridgewood coffe building lighting up that whole intersection, which had a large while center painted on it for whistling Jack the police officer.

  32. call PSEG. if nobody calls they dont know. and they are SLOW responding to the street lite out calls..800-436-7734 with the loc of the pole or other info.. and I miss whistling Jack..he did a great job and was a real ‘diplomat’ for the Village

  33. we have to many cops.

  34. couldnt we get better ‘coverage’ by having the cops work 8 hrs a day like all the other village workers…do 5 days a week instead of 3???? how can they be ‘sharp’ after working for a 12 hour shift

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: