NJ town has had 14 roadway deaths this year — Now cops are cracking down
Local, county and state law enforcement officials are coming together in one part of New Jersey to address a serious problem that keeps getting worse.
Beginning this Thursday, Lakewood police and undercover officers from the Ocean County Prosecutors Office and the State Police Tactical Police Unit will begin patrolling four intersections in Lakewood, where 14 people have been killed in motor vehicle crashes so far this year.
The latest was a pedestrian struck and killed late Tuesday afternoon on Route 70 and Shorrock Street.
Irene Perosi, 53, of Lakewood, was hit as she crossed the road mid-block around 5 p.m. Police say she was hit by a 2010 Mazda CX-9 traveling south. Perosi suffered multiple injuries and died at the scene.
No charges have been brought against the 56-year-old Toms River man driving the Mazda.
As part of the crackdown in the township, teams will be assigned to the intersection of Cedar Bridge Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, the intersection of County Route 526 and Route 9, Route 70 and Route 88, according to Ocean County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Al Della Fave.
“The volume of traffic and pedestrian movement has just been a formula for disaster," he said.
He’s urging everybody “to just slow down — drivers and pedestrians included, both sides, be responsible in terms of their movements."
Della Fave said that means pedestrians, instead of crossing mid-street, should go to the corners to use the walkways, and drivers need to take a deep breath.
“We know it’s frustrating. We know when you’re in traffic for a while you become emotionally charged and you’ll kind of push the envelope and do things you shouldn’t do, and that’s when the tragedies happen.”
He said a lot of undercover officers will be canvassing the area looking for people who are not following the law.
“That means driving under the influence, driving aggressively, making improper turns, failing to yield, failing to keep right, improper passing, driving inattentive."
The campaign will start this Thursday, Dec. 7, and run through Dec. 16.
Della Fave stressed everybody needs to pay attention and keep their eyes open, especially people on foot and those riding bicycles, before going into the street with cars and trucks.
“You can’t assume that because I’m a pedestrian, I have the right of way and everyone is going to stop for me,” he said.
“We’re going to look for commercial vehicles as well — those that are operating with equipment violations, brake pressure issues, overweight — that may also cause many accidents.”
He added cutting-edge technology will be used during the campaign.
“We’ve got the automated license plate readers to help us identify those people who are operating illegally, those people who are suspended, in stolen vehicles, [who] just shouldn’t be on the roadway.”
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com
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