Crosswalk Safety Signals
A Safer Way to Cross Busy Roads
Attentive motorists may have noticed three new crosswalk signal signs along Laurel and South Laurel Avenues.
These new “blinkersign” systems are designed to alert drivers to pedestrians trying to cross the road. A pedestrian can push a large button to alert drivers they wish to cross. Approaching drivers will immediately be alerted by flashing lights studded into the sign border. These lights, powered by solar, are designed to be seen from a distance, even in bright sunshine.
“In 2016, we had a fatal accident in Hazlet at 6th Street,” said Township Committeeman Skip McKay, recalling the driving-while-texting incident that took the life of 39-year-old Yuwen Wang of Hazlet. “I noticed these signs in use in Florida and thought this would be a good use of our ARPA funds.” The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 encourages municipalities to invest in public safety.
Hazlet Township has used $62,213 of its ARPA funds to purchase 26 new pedestrian signs for 13 crosswalks. So far, the Dept. of Public Works has installed them at Laurel Avenue and 6th Street, and also on South Laurel at Lillian Drive and Adam Place.
Other proposed locations include:
- Union Avenue & Hazlet Middle School Ball Field
- Union Avenue & Angela Circle
- Middle Road & Raritan High School/Concord
- Middle Road & Green Acres Drive/California
- Middle Road & Lynn Blvd
- Middle Road & Bromley
- Middle Road & Coach Drive East/ Coach Drive
- Poole Avenue & Ned Drive
- Beers Street & Dogwood Lane
- Beers Street & Linda Place /Rutgers Street
Hazlet Police Chief Ted Wittke and Ptl. Patrick Wood of the Traffic Safety Bureau invite the public to give input on troublesome crossings they don’t see on this list.
The crosswalk systems complement a pedestrian safety initiative by the police to make crossing the street safer in Hazlet.
Hazlet Police received $13,460 for a 2022 NJ Pedestrian Safety Enforcement and Education Grant. Two officers have been trained through AAA North America to set up and run Pedestrian Decoy Education and Enforcement details. Recently, the police ran a successful decoy event at 6th Street resulting in the issuing of warnings to 33 drivers. The drivers received a printed flyer to educate them on the law pertaining to pedestrians in crosswalks.
Under state law, motorists must stop for a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk. Failure to do can result in 2 points and a $200 fine, plus court costs, 15 days of community service and insurance surcharges. Ptl. Wood said the drivers must wait until the pedestrian exits the crosswalk on the other side. View NJ Statutes: Driver to yield to pedestrians; Crossing Roadway
Pedestrians also share a responsibility to cross safely. They must obey pedestrian signals and use crosswalks at signalized intersections or face a $54 fine. View NJ Statute: Use of designated crosswalk.