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Police Chief Emphasizes Pedestrian Safety As Kids Return To School

In a statement released Wednesday, Fort Lee Police Chief Thomas O. Ripoli urged parents to speak to their children about crossing the street safely and motorists to use extra caution with kids going back to school on Monday.

Fort Lee Police Chief Thomas O. Ripoli issued a statement Wednesday urging parents and motorists to be extra cautious with students returning to school next week.

Ripoli, noting a continued problem with accidents involving pedestrians over the summer, said 43 of the borough’s intersections will be manned by crossing guards, and that parents should talk to their children about how to cross the street safely.

Ripoli said parents should emphasize to their kids that they need to look out for cars before crossing even though, by law, pedestrians have the right of way.

He also said drivers should exercise even greater caution and be on the lookout for pedestrians, especially near schools.

“I want to make sure everyone gets to their destination safely, and I cannot do this without your help,” Ripoli said in the statement.

Ripoli’s complete statement is below:

The new school year is upon us and I just wanted to reach out to parents and motorists alike with some safety tips. We have had several accidents this summer involving pedestrians. As we all know, Fort Lee is a high traffic volume town and we all must be vigilant as we are navigating the streets. There are 43 intersections where crossing guards are stationed. Parents, please speak to your children about crossing in marked intersections with the assistance of these crossing guards. Although pedestrians have the right of way, tell children to look to make sure motorists are complying with this law. Motorists need to pay attention to pedestrians crossing, especially in the areas of town where the schools are located. Please slow down and watch out for children as they may not always heed our warnings and use marked intersections. I want to make sure everyone gets to their destination safely and I cannot do this without your help. We are all responsible for making sure these simple rules get followed. I am looking forward to a happy and healthy school year.

The first day of school for Fort Lee public school students is Monday, Sept. 10.

William Quinn September 05, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Police should evaluate their traffic pattern for school #2 . Parents parking on both sides of Margerite and Walnut Sts (narrow passages) walking on the street (no sidewalks) while lines of traffic are passing to drop off students on Jones Rd. Will the Boro be liable if Pedestrian is struck?
William Quinn September 06, 2012 at 04:00 PM
What is the first concern of the Fort Lee Police Dept? Concern for the safety of the citizens or the movement of vehicular traffic ?
Howard L. Pearl September 09, 2012 at 04:20 PM
To reiterate a chronic issue in Fort Lee that the police have failed to address are the u-turns on Lemoine Avenue every morning in front of the high school. Drivers in a hurry, who could easily turn left and go one block out of their way, consistently make u-turns at approximately 7:30 AM. It is a miracle that to date no student has been injured.
a concerned Fort Lee resident September 10, 2012 at 12:38 AM
As a parent, I do not feel comfortable letting my child walk to school (which is only 2 blocks away). I have witnessed people driving on the sidewalks, illegally parking underneath an overpass, parking the wrong way on the street, blocking driveways, passing by crossing guards that have a STOP sign held up, etc..... the list is endless of dangerous situations that occur daily ( mornings and afternoons when school is in session). I hope that it doesn't take an accident of any magnitude to get the FLPD and/or the Mayor and Council to re-evalute the serious issues with the school traffic and also the trafiic, in general.
Had it with the traffic to school 2 September 10, 2012 at 01:06 AM
I like what Mr.Quinn had to say about all the traffice that comes down our block in the morning.People come flying down our block thinking its a one way,cars parked on both sides of the street.They have changed the rt to school 2 about three years ago.Not fare that everyone comes down a block that is not made for all this traffic,and god help us all if a fire engin ever had to come down this block.It needs to be put back to the way it was on Jones rd and not a little block with cars come both ways.Someone one day will get hurt,its only time.

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