In hopes to change driving habits, Old Bridge will target enforcement areas

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OLD BRIDGE – Traffic ticket fines are just not cutting it anymore.

“This is not only in Old Bridge,” Mayor Owen Henry said. “We have got to change driving habits.”

And to do that, the Township Council, at the recommendation of Police Chief William Volkert, voted in favor of an ordinance designating target enforcement zones in the township to ensure the safety of all of the residents at a meeting on April 8. The ordinance was introduced on March 25.

The mayor noted in discussions with Volkert an individual received three tickets in one day for speeding.

“The fines don’t seem to deter anyone,” he said.

The target enforcement areas include Amboy Road from County Route 516 to New Jersey State Highway 34; John Partridge Road from County Road 516 to Lambertson Road; Lambertson Road from John Partridge Road to Disbrow Road; Disbrow Road from Amboy Road to New Jersey State Highway 34; Ocean Boulevard from Middlesex Avenue to Raritan Boulevard; Marlboro Road from New Jersey State Highway 18 to Charles Street; and Phillips Drive from New Jersey State Highway 9 to Cottrell Road.

New signage will be installed along the roadways advising drivers the areas have been designated as Target Enforcement Areas.

Henry said the ordinance, despite continued efforts to provide safety to the areas, continues to have accidents and get complaints of speeding.

“The chief brought forward a little bite on the ticket,” he said, noting if a person receives a violation, predominantly a moving violation, he or she will have make a court appearance.

Henry and Police Captain Joe Mandola said other areas were discussed to add to the area.

“I think we are pretty ambitious with what we plan for the seven roads,” Henry said.

Mandola said people have to be aware if more roads are added, there would not be enough officers to enforce the ordinance and effectively target the enforcement areas.

The captain said he has spoken to an officer with the Aberdeen Township Police Department, Monmouth County, which also set up target enforcement areas.

“Word gets around [of the enforcement areas],” Mandola said. “They [Aberdeen department] do see a decrease in speeding on the road because no one wants to go to court.”

Henry said they will be collecting data and the ordinance will be assessed on a yearly basis.