Dec. 29, 2015: At the Borough Council meeting earlier this month, Council President Ronald Grayzel said police issued an increased amount of moving violations recently.
The context of Grayzel’s comment was the lowering of the speed limit along all of Grove Avenue in Metuchen to 25 mph. Enforcement will be a key part of getting drivers used to the lower speed limit on Grove. Two residents said at the meeting they experimented with driving 25 mph on Grove and were tailgated by drivers behind them.
“We’ve already made clear to our police chief and his department that pedestrian safety is our number one concern, so I would expect them to have increased eyes and enforcement on Grove Avenue while this change is taking place,” Councilwoman Allison Inserro said during the meeting.
Traffic enforcement has indeed intensified. Metuchen police issued more than 400 moving violations in October and November, said Sgt. Arthur Flaherty. That is around 100 more tickets from the August/September time period, Flaherty said.
There are a few reasons for the rise in tickets. One is there are more bodies on the street, Flaherty said. Injuries kept some officers off the beat for a while, but they have returned. Second, as Inserro said, police are focused on pedestrian safety.
“We have been aggressively enforcing pedestrian safety, which means our officers are concentrating on traffic-related details,” Flaherty said.
Along with those returning from injury, Metuchen police welcomed two new officers to the fold, which will bring the total compliment of officers to 27. Chief David Irizarry would like to get to 28 total.
On Dec. 21, Borough Attorney Denis Murphy swore in Michael Puetz and Daniel Hoover as patrolmen. Puetz has started with the department; Hoover is finishing police academy and will start his job in January.
Photo by Thomas R Machnitzki