Recently, the Gardner Police Department conducted a two-hour-long safety experiment in the crosswalks on North Center Street at Shawnee Street and Brittany Court. Two plain-clothed officers – one in a wheelchair and the other pushing – waited in the truncated dome area of the crosswalks for approaching traffic to allow them to cross.
When motorists were found violating the law, assisting officers conducted traffic stops, and in a two-hour span, the GPD observed 24 violations and conducted 13 traffic stops. The event was an educational effort, with violators not cited for their infractions and instead provided with information on crosswalk safety.
“We used this opportunity to test the public’s knowledge and compliance to crosswalk laws, as well as to inform them about the importance of crosswalk safety in general,” James Pruetting, police chief, said. “The experiment was a large success thanks to the efforts of our officers and the public’s receptiveness to the information provided.”
The law requires approaching traffic to yield to anyone in the truncated dome area, which is the transitional area of textured ground surface found on the sidewalk just before a crosswalk. In addition, pedestrians must allow time for motorists to yield to them. Any failure to comply with the law in Gardner can lead to a citation of $110, including court costs.
The experiment follows previous educational efforts by the city regarding crosswalk safety. For more information, visit