SPARTA, NJ - During the past two days there have been several motor vehicle accidents at intersections, where motorists have claimed that due to high snow mounds they could not see properly before entering into the intersection. This is not an affirmative defense when entering an intersection that is regulated by a Stop Sign.

The Department of Public Works has been actively working at these intersections clearing some of these snow mounds. Keep in mind there are literally hundreds of intersections within the Township of Sparta.

Motorists have to exercise due caution and understand that just because you make a full stop at a stop sign does not automatically mean you can or should enter an intersection. According to N.J.S. 39:4-144. Stopping or yielding right of way before entering stop or yield intersections; No driver of a vehicle or street car shall enter upon or cross an intersecting street marked with a “stop” sign unless:

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a. The driver has first brought the vehicle or street car to a complete stop at a point within five feet of the nearest crosswalk or stop line marked upon the pavement at the near side of the intersecting street and shall proceed only after yielding the right of way to all vehicular traffic on the intersecting street which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.

It has been a long winter for everyone and it’s not over yet with additional snow fall forecasted for early next week.  Salt supplies are low, with melting snow during the day turning into frozen roads at night, and with snow piled high along township roadways, conditions are going to remain challenging to say the least. Public Works employees have been putting in very long hours trying to keep the roads clear and safe.

With all this in mind, The Sparta Police urge all our motorists to travel at safe and prudent speeds through out the township, mindful of poor road conditions.  Also be aware of pedestrians forced to walk in the roadways because of the highly piled snow and neighbors who continue to work near or on the road trying to keep their driveways clear.