Police plan strict speed limit enforcement
Three streets in Manalapan will be targeted by officers
BY KATHY BARATTA
Drivers in Manalapan should look for signs coming soon that will warn them to make sure they follow the rules of the road and cool their jets when enhanced enforcement of motor vehicle laws goes into effect on three township roads.
Police Chief Stuart Brown said as soon as the police department accepts delivery of the signs, they will be posted on Willow Grove Way, Blen-heim Road and Woodward Road (between Sweetmans Lane and Route 33). He said the signs will inform motorists to expect stepped-up enforcement of all motor vehicle traffic laws, particularly speeding.
Manalapan police Capt. Lou Moreto said the speed limit on Willow Grove Way and Blenheim Road is 25 mph, and the speed limit on Wood-ward Road between Sweetmans Lane and Route 33 is divided between a 25 mph area and a 35 mph area.
Brown said anyone who receives a ticket on those roads after the warning signs have been posted can pretty much kiss goodbye any leeway they may have had in making a plea for lesser charges in order to avoid fines and more importantly, points on their driver's license.
The chief explained that typically, in order to avoid getting points placed on their license that can result in a license suspension or revocation, drivers are allowed to plea whatever violation they have been charged with down to what is known as driving or operating a vehicle in an unsafe manner.
Brown said pleading down the charge is a trade-off because although the driver can avoid points being placed against his license, he pays a higher fine. He said motorists are only permitted two bites of that apple before they face receiving points on their licenses no matter what new charges are negotiated with the court.
"Of course, the ultimate decision lies with the judge, but it is not unexpected for a court to tend to listen to the recommendations of the officer and the ability to bargain your charges diminishes," he said.
Referring to what drivers can expect if they are issued any motor vehicle violations in one of the three areas being targeted for enhanced enforcement, Brown said, "Let's say your options would be severely limited."
The chief said any motorist who receives a summons in the enhanced enforcement areas will face a mandatory court appearance and stiffer fines.
A resolution providing for the enhanced enforcement of motor vehicle violations on Willow Grove Way, Blenheim Road and Woodward Road was approved by the Township Committee in January.