HomeHaddonfield NewsHaddonfield to strengthen enforcement of bike-safety rules

Haddonfield to strengthen enforcement of bike-safety rules

New ordinance introduced on first reading will be an update of previous

As June’s borough commissioner meeting focused on public safety, residents in attendance at the session were pleased to learn an ordinance introduced on first reading will enable police to enforce more stringent bike safety rules in Haddonfield by  repealing and updating an earlier measure.

- Advertisement -

While some particulars in the previous ordinance will remain – such as the ability to walk a bicycle on congested sidewalks and rules to discourage trick riding or “weaving” – the revamped measure will also give law enforcement more ways to combat reckless and irresponsible bicycling by allowing law enforcement to seize or impound bikes as cases arise.

“First and foremost, we want to reiterate that (riding your bike in the downtown business district) still is not allowed, and in this ordinance, we expressly say, ‘No bikes shall be utilized in Haddy lane, or Lantern Lane or Kings Court,” said Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezcih. 

“ … Previously, there was no real consequence, and if your juveniles were moving in another direction or fleeing to another town, that was really it. Now, we can impound the bike and keep it in custody until a parent, guardian or lawful adult owner comes to pick it up, and we are charging $25 a day.”

Police Chief Jason Cutler said the revamped ordinance will strengthen law enforcement.

“A lot of the times, what happens – especially by the Starbucks corner– is that even though there’s a bike rack right there, they’ll just lay their bikes all across the sidewalk and cause a tripping hazard for pedestrians, and that wasn’t in the ordinance,” he noted. 

“But now that’s in the ordinance as well, that they have to properly secure their bike to a bike rack.”

Teens who have their bikes impounded will have to show up at municipal court in the same way they would for a traffic violation. Within the past two weeks, Cutler said police  charged 13 juveniles with recklessness, though no bikes were confiscated.

“As a citizen, it’s, remember to observe, report, not to intervene,’’ Commissioner Kevin Roche pointed out. “You are a citizen and you are still subject to the issues that would have legal consequences for you intervening.”

The updated ordinance will have its second reading at the July commissioners meeting. Also at this month’s session, Bianco Bezich gave an overview of police initiatives and reports in the past decade, through May 31. She announced that motor-vehicle thefts   spiked in 2019 – with 12 incidents – and there have been six to date this year. 

Haddonfield police will promote a 9 o’clock Check Your Locks campaign to remind residents to secure their cars and homes.

“Most of the vehicle thefts in our town are crimes of opportunity with unlocked vehicles left running or keys in the car,” the mayor said.

She also reminded residents that police can do free home and welfare checks while they vacation. To schedule, call the non-emergency line and report the length of a  vacation, information that will be privately maintained. Police will check in at regular intervals.

As for checks on someone’s welfare, Bianco Bezich offered a number of examples where they might come into play.

“That’s whether you have someone at home, where you’re concerned about their mental incapacity, or you’re concerned about drug use or domestic violence, whether it’s an aging parent, young child or teenager you left at home, those are things we care about and our police prioritize,” she insisted.

“If we know about it, we are more than happy to do those checks.”

Kids will have opportunities through summer to socialize with police officers during popsicle giveaways known as Pops with the Cops.

In other news;

  • The borough commissioners passed a resolution following their executive session approving a settlement agreement with 2 Hopkins Lane LLC, commonly known the Bancroft redevelopment where the Borough will pay $3,250,000 to resolve all issues in the lawsuit.
  • The Borough passed its annual budget with a tax rate increase of 2.62 cents and a tax rate of .5887, around $137 per year for the average assessed home of $523,000.

The next board of commissioners work session will be Monday, July 10 at 6:30 p.m.


Stay Connected

- Advertisment -

Current Issue