Pedestrian crosswalk stings — for safety or your money? (Opinion)
Monday morning, a listener sent me a video that purports to show an undercover police operation in Burlington County.
It's difficult to tell exactly when the video took place, but it looks like it could have been recent (note: there is profanity in the video). About eight years ago, police tried this on my street one morning and it boiled my blood to see it in action. I had been warned by an oncoming car flashing its high beams that something was ahead, so I slowed down and looked real closely as I drove. A 'guy' in a Phillies shirt near a crosswalk saw that I was paying close attention and frustratedly waived me on. There were several cars ahead that had been pulled over, and we received a few calls that plenty of people had been trapped in the sting that morning.
When the new crosswalk law was passed a few years ago, we wondered and worried if this would cause more rear-end crashes from people jamming on the brakes to avoid a ticket. Of course, negative unintended consequences of these feel-good laws is part of the price we pay to get more money into the towns coffers in the name of public safety.
Shore towns were notorious for setting these up during peak season, but they can happen in any town in New Jersey. I try and pay close attention to people trying to cross at crosswalks but also close attention to the danger I might be in if I stop too suddenly. People tend to drive with a certain anticipation of when they're going to have to stop, traffic lights, stop signs, etc. Unexpected sudden stops can cause serious accidents, and they do.
There is no readily available data on rear-end crashes at crosswalks, but some towns setting up sting operations for "safety" sake is a typical Jersey way of fleecing its citizens.
More from New Jersey 101.5: