May 20, from 9 to 11 a.m., the Gardner Police Department conducted a safety experiment at the crosswalk of North Center Street at Brittany Court. Two plain-clothed officers intermittently crossed the crosswalk, when safe to do so, to see if approaching traffic would follow the law and stop while they were crossing.
The law requires approaching traffic to yield the right of way when a pedestrian enters a crosswalk. Any failure to comply with the law in Gardner can lead to a citation of $115, including court costs.
When motorists were found violating the law, assisting officers conducted traffic stops to educate the driver. No citations were issued during the nearly 20 traffic stops.
“We used this opportunity to test the public’s compliance to crosswalk laws, as well as to inform them about the importance of crosswalk safety in general,” James Belcher, interim 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 city plans to continue their educational efforts to both motorists and pedestrians throughout the year.
“Crosswalk safety requires action on both sides: Motorists must yield the right of way to pedestrians if they have entered the crosswalk, and pedestrians should never assume that crosswalks ensure their safety. They also must allow time for motorists to yield to them,” Belcher said.
For additional crosswalk safety tips, visit