Patrolman Chad Rybka, of the Bureau of Traffic Safety, Madison Police Department

With school back in session, it is surely a good thing that a program called Walk Safe Madison is in effect on local streets.


The Madison Police Department is looking to keep the community safer for everyone with this program that enforces the law for motorists and pedestrians. This program began in July 2015 and will last until May 2016.


“It’s done statewide – it’s a good program,” said Madison Police Department Patrolman Chad Rybka.


Police officials are considering situations whereby motorists and/or pedestrians have adequate time to react, but misjudge or disregard any safety measures they should be making. Rybka wants to explain that the program is not a “trap” for motorists and/or pedestrians.


For instance, when motorists fail to stop for pedestrians, when drivers are distracted, or, when pedestrians are not using crosswalks when they cross the street – these situations can be dangerous. Many individuals have likely experienced this and police departments probably have seen it over and over.


The Madison Police Department will issue a summons to these motorists or pedestrians who violate the law, or inform them and educate them about why these actions are dangerous.


Again, police will consider the situations whereby motorists and/or pedestrians have adequate time to react properly with their safety measures, but fail to do so. Police know the average perception time for a motorist and/or pedestrian to take safety steps in a given situation and are also considering speed limits in designated areas where these violations are being observed.


Police are also putting a construction cone in the designated enforcement areas so they can know measurements on roadways, and when any possible violations are made. Police will know when adequate time and distance should have allowed violators to react safely, but perhaps did not.


So, Madison Police are working to educate the public and remind them to be aware as a driver and/or pedestrian. This will make things safer in each community where a program like this is put into action.


During a telephone interview earlier this month, Rybka of the Bureau of Traffic Safety, said, in fact, that the Madison Police Department often receives complaints about pedestrian safety. In addition to this, the number of pedestrians being struck by vehicles is unfortunately increasing.

This news is sad, and if the Walk Safe Madison program can help motorists and pedestrians become more aware and improve the safety measures they make, then that is an important step.


Rybka said the program came about when the police department received a grant from the New Jersey Division of Highway Safety to finance Walk Safe Madison. The grant is for $16,000, with $15,000 going toward enforcement, and $1,000 going toward education.


The program will address important issues. It is meant to decrease the number of traffic collisions involving pedestrians, and school zones and crosswalks will be areas of enforcement. Rybka said the locations will vary.


“Cops in Crosswalks” is another directive that the Madison Police are putting into action, and it will work hand-in-hand with Walk Safe Madison. This program will be active at, for instance, crosswalks frequently used by pedestrians or in front of some of the larger schools in the area.


Police officers will be in plain clothes and will be on the lookout for motorists who fail to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, and for other dangerous violators including distracted drivers, and pedestrians who do not use crosswalks when they cross streets.


Other officers will radio each other as they find possible violators in action.


This effort to improve safety measures for motorists and pedestrians is an important step in each community.

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