As the new school year is upon us, the Jefferson Township Police Department is asking its residents and particularly parents of school-age children to assist in a problem that developed particularly at bus stops.
Over the years, it appears that more than ever before parents have been driving their children to the bus stop instead of walking them. Some bus stops have in excess of 10 vehicles parked at some stops.
The numerous vehicles are causing concerns for traffic and pedestrian safety particularly at busy intersections.
The Police Department is urging parents to assist by walking their children to the stop when possible.
Numerous complaints have been made to the police department and we are asking parents to adhere to the following motor vehicle parking laws:
39:4-135 – Vehicle must park on the right side of the
39:4-138a – No parking within an intersection
39:4-138b – No parking within a crosswalk
39:4-138c – No parking in front of a public or private drive
39:4-138d – No parking within 25 feet of an intersection
39:4-138h – No parking within 50 feet of a stop sign
39:4-138m – No double parking
In addition, the Jefferson Township Police Department will have increased patrols in mark and unmarked patrol cars to enforce motor vehicle laws and specifically motorists who pass school buses. The police department is working with the Jefferson Township School System in a pilot program to ticket drivers who pass stopped school buses. Selected buses are equipped with cameras that capture the vehicle information of vehicle that pass a bus when its red lights are activated. The cameras can be moved between buses to monitor problem routes in which bus drivers have repeated offenders in problem area. Motorists who are captured passing stopped school buses will be issued summonses.
To help protect children walking and waiting for school buses, AAA urges motorists to follow these safety tips:
- Slow down in and near school and residential areas.
- Drive with your headlights on — even during the day — so children and other drivers can see you.
- Look for clues that indicate children may be in the area such as School Safety Patrollers, bicycles and playgrounds.
- Scan between parked cars and other objects where children could dart into the road.
- Since school children travel the roadways on a regular schedule, adjust your routine by five or ten minutes to avoid busy pedestrian zones and frequent bus stops.
- Practice extra caution in bad weather.
- Always stop for school buses that are loading or unloading students. Vehicle must stop in all directions while the bus has its red lights activated, this includes intersections.
- Never use a cell phone without a hands free device while driving. Texting and driving is the leading cause of inattentive driving.
Residents can contact Traffic Safety Officer Rodger Davis at 973-208-6159 with questions or concerns.