MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Councilman Rene Dierkes urges all drivers to follow the posted speed limits on local roads and stay off the phone while driving. His plea came at the Tuesday, June 18 council meeting, two weeks after a borough woman was struck and killed while crossing a street. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
Dierkes said that he was at the accident scene, and “it was a depressing site to see.” “Anytime when there is a tragedy like this it is time to reflect and think about what we can do to make things better,” he said. He noted that according to a recent Star-Ledger article drivers are now going 10-15 miles over the speed limit. I can understand driving faster on a highway, but somehow this has transformed into a habit of doing the same on local roads, he said. There is a big difference going a little bit faster on a local road than on a highway. He noted that there are pedestrians and bicyclists on local roads that the drivers need to be aware of. He told the council that he used to ride his bike to work, but no longer does so as it has become too dangerous for cyclists with drivers looking down at their phones or other devices, and not paying attention to the road.
Dierkes also pointed out the presence of children on local roads. “Children don’t necessarily obey the rules of the road, and can jump on the road at any moment in time,” he said. There are a lot of children in Mountainside, he added. It is very important for people to observe the speed limit, he pointed out. He recalled being hit by a vehicle when he was a child. “Even though I was only five or six years old at the time I still remember the blood, I still remember the pain, I still remember the ride in the ambulance, I still remember going to the emergency room, and that is not the type of memories we want our children to have,” he recalled.
Lastly, he emphasized that the speed limit of 25/mph means 25/mph! That is not a recommendation, the speed limit is meant to be obeyed, he said. “Watch the road, not your phone!” he urged.