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Fort Lee chief urges pedestrian safety

Photo Credit: Fort Lee PD

A POLICE CHIEF WRITES: Daily traffic volume in Fort Lee leaves pedestrians at risk for serious injury. As Chief, I am instructing my officers in the coming weeks to focus not only on motorists but also pedestrians who violate traffic laws, more specifically jaywalking. Simple practices followed by those on foot can also significantly decrease the chance of being hurt.

Fort Lee Police Chief Thomas O. Ripoli (PHOTO COURTESY Fort Lee PD)

First and foremost, please use crosswalks. The intersections in Fort Lee are well lit and drivers expect to see pedestrians within the crosswalks as opposed to crossing midblock.

Also, please walk in accordance with the light cycles.

Pedestrians have to resist talking on their cell phones and/or taking their headphones off while crossing a street. These distractions can be catastrophic to the pedestrian who is too distracted to notice if a car is coming in their direction.

It would also be beneficial to wear some kind of bright-colored clothing. Most coats and jackets are in darker shades during the winter, but adding something that could reflect a headlight would increase the chance for a driver to see you during the nighttime hours.

Know your surroundings. Most of us take the same route to work every day and tend to relax and be less vigilant when taking a familiar route. Pedestrians need to be aware of their surroundings and look for cars exiting driveways, as the drivers are more concerned with watching for other cars rather than for people on foot.

Parents should be diligent in educating their children in these common pedestrian safety practices. We have often seen children leaving school and ignoring crossing guards, putting themselves at risk of injury.

The State of New Jersey offers a Pedestrian Safety Grant, which the Borough of Fort Lee participates in. This grant is typically designed to target motorists who do not observe a pedestrian’s right of way. However, I am instructing my officers in the coming weeks to focus not only on the motorists but also on pedestrians for enforcement of traffic laws.

If there are any intersections that raise a public concern (such as dimly lit or potentially dangerous intersections) please contact our Traffic Division at 201-592-3515.

The Fort Lee Police Department will work with the County and State Agencies in order to address any problems. As always, the safety of our residents is the Police Department’s primary concern. Please stay safe and stay aware. Thank you.

Fort Lee Police Chief Thomas O. Ripoli wrote this piece amid an increase in pedestrians struck by vehicles. An 86-year-old resident was struck Monday morning by a car being backed out of a driveway n Edwin Avenue off Main Street, roughly 15 hours after a 63-year-old woman from town was hit by a car and killed while crossing Lemoine Avenue at Whiteman Street. In light of these incidents, Chief Ripoli says it is more vital than ever to “take proper safety precautions while navigating our streets.”


Concerns over traffic deaths hardly pedestrian

PUBLIC ALERT: We have literally reached a crossroads in our evolution when we must learn not only defensive driving but also “defensive walking,” due to the number of pedestrian crashes and deaths. READ MORE….


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