Look All Ways, Always

Jul 12, 2017

To the Editor:

In regard to Naomi Crocker’s letter (“Danger at LBI Crosswalks a Terrifying Reality,” 7/5), there are other important safety issues and practices she neglected to mention. I respect her observation that we are “a true beach community,” but this should not mean leaving either your courtesy or common sense behind when you come over the Causeway. 

While it is fact that N.J. state law requires drivers to stop/yield to pedestrians or dismounted bikers in both marked and unmarked intersection crosswalks, responsible adults surely must understand that they still need to look both ways before entering a roadway, and they should definitely caution their children to use the same safe practice.

As a longtime visitor and homeowner on LBI, I have observed on countless occasions pedestrians and recreational bikers of all ages simply striding or cruising into a roadway without even a momentary safety check, right and left, to note if a vehicle might be coming at whatever speed. Crosswalk and speed laws should be obeyed. Courtesy to others while traveling the roadways is commendable and encouraged.

However, this applies to drivers, bikers and pedestrians alike. Unfortunately, whether you are right or wrong, if you move blindly in front of a moving vehicle – whose driver may not have been given a satisfactory opportunity to see you – no law will heal injuries after the fact.

Finally, it should be pointed out that the law does not reasonably expect motorists will always be able to safely, automatically and suddenly provide pedestrians and bikers the right-of-way at non-crosswalk locations. Yet, many appear to believe they are free to just randomly enter into moving traffic, while assuming everyone will stop for them. I have seen several fender-benders and near-accidents caused by either a surprised or well-intentioned motorist who abruptly needed to make a quick and unexpected stop between traffic light and proper crosswalk locations because someone wanted to illegally jaywalk.

While driving, biking and walking we all have a responsibility for traffic safety by following all the laws, as well as being courteous and keeping our eyes on the road, no matter how beautiful LBI, the ocean, bay and sunsets are. 

Edward Fallon, M.D.

Reading, Pa., and Brant Beach



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