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Police Renew Call for Caution After Two Pedestrians Are Struck

The latest vehicle-pedestrian accident was Friday afternoon at Anderson and Plateau Avenues.

Fort Lee police are once again urging caution after yet another pedestrian was struck by a vehicle in the borough Friday afternoon.

The accident, in which the pedestrian suffered only a broken ankle, and neither the driver nor the pedestrian were issued summonses, was the second time last week a driver collided with someone who was walking, the third time such an incident occurred in two weeks and the fifth time in Fort Lee since February, according to police.

The latest vehicle-pedestrian accident happened Friday at about 2:30 p.m. near at the intersection of Anderson Avenue and Plateau Avenue.

The pedestrian, whom police identified as a 64-year-old Fairview man, was crossing westbound in the crosswalk on Anderson Avenue when he was hit by a vehicle driven by a 45-year-old Fort Lee man, according to police.

The driver told police he was making a left turn from Plateau onto Anderson after looking both ways when he hit the other man, whom he said he didn’t see coming until it was too late.

The injured pedestrian was taken to Palisades Medical Center, where he was treated for what turned out to be a broken ankle, police said.

Fort Lee Police Chief Thomas O. Ripoli said that while the accident Friday turned out to be relatively minor, it underscored an ongoing problem in the borough.

“We’re working on this very heavily,” Ripoli said. “We’re getting the word out; we’re giving summonses to pedestrians; we’re giving summonses to drivers; we’re giving out warnings—the whole bit.”

But, he said, accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians continue to happen, and it’s something that has police concerned.

“It’s just that people have to be aware,” Ripoli said. “Drivers have to be aware. Pedestrians have to be aware. Speed has to slow down.”

He added, “It just doesn’t seem anybody is alert. [The accident Friday] happened in broad daylight at that intersection. It’s not like it was night.”

A 70-year old woman was struck by a vehicle last Tuesday crossing Fletcher Avenue toward the Linwood Plaza Mall.

Capt. Roy Bortolus of the said at the time it was the second accident at the same intersection in a week.

In February,  and ultimately died when she was hit by an SUV backing out of a driveway on Edwin Avenue. Just a day before, another  suffered after getting hit by a car while crossing Lemoine Avenue at Whiteman Street.

In March, Ripoli  in hopes of reducing the number of accidents, saying, “Simple practices adopted by those on foot can significantly decrease the chance of being involved in an accident.”

Included among Ripoli’s safety tips were “simple practices” like using crosswalks and obeying traffic lights, avoiding the use of cell phones and headphones when crossing the street, wearing bright-colored clothing or something reflective if possible and being vigilant of your surroundings when driving or crossing the street.

Rona May 01, 2012 at 03:37 AM
It would be nice if drivers observed stopping for people in cross walks as it is the law, but respect for it and enforcement is extremely poor. I've experimented time and again as a pedestrian, and maybe 1 in 20 cars will stop. I'd set up more police stings on well traveled roads like Anderson & Center Avenues. Maybe drivers will be a bit more considerate and if not the town could use the $200 fine monies & let drivers deal with the 2 points on their license.
Howard L. Pearl May 01, 2012 at 02:13 PM
This morning at Lewis F. Cole Middle School, another accident occurred apparently as a result of an illegal U-turn. This is the 2nd school area accident within a month. We are all in a hurry in the morning. Let's try to remember that a school zone is not a place to be reckless.
William Mays May 03, 2012 at 01:37 AM
The police stings are already there, don't you worry. I got stopped at the intersection of Lemoine and A & P for not stopping for a pedestrian (possibly planted by the police) who stepped off the sidewalk just as I was about to drive across the crosswalk. Stopping then would mean the cop behind me would have rear ended me. So pretty much they pulled me over because I had no choice but to not yield to the pedestrian.
Art Elmers May 04, 2012 at 09:26 PM
A few minutes ago I stopped to allow a Grandmother and her little grandson cross Anderson Ave at Harmon Ave. The mini-van (hint) behind me sped past me on the right and almost nailed the pedestrians. I don't think Driver's Ed classes will help.
Enaid May 06, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Hey Billy Mays. Appreciate your sharing your views, but in my quick research, the drivers in the recent accidents were: 45-year-old male (therefore, not female), a 29-year-old woman w/last name "Tafila" (doesn't sound Korean to me), 42-year-old "Peter Gallo" from Englewood Cliffs (not Korean, not female... although he struck a Korean female, so maybe that's where you were confused?), and a 66-year-old "Joseph Delaquila" (also not very Korean-sounding, not to mention, he's a male). There was another accident where a car went out of control onto the sidewalk in front of a school, but the driver "Fatos Bakir, 34," although may be fellow-Asian, but again, not Korean. I think generalized views like yours, without the facts to support them, are dangerous. That's how rumors start. You're also wrongfully influencing (biasing) others' opinions about Korean women drivers. From what I hear, Korean women not being used to driving in the "motherland" may have been the case 30+ years ago, but it's not the case now. So, your "I don't mean to be racist or anything..." is just that... racist.


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