Fairfield (NJ) Over the last few weeks, the Fairfield Police Department investigated two separate motor vehicle crashes involving young, inexperienced drivers from Fairfield allegedly operating vehicles in both fast and careless manners. This has prompted the police department to request that parents once again have conversations with their children in order to remind them about the importance of operating a motor vehicle in a safe and responsible manner, especially those with provisional licenses.
The first of these incidents involved a five-car crash that took place at the intersection of Greenbrook Road and Passaic Avenue on December 19, 2019 at approximately 3:00 PM. In that case the investigation, which was conducted by Officer Nicholas Cocchi, determined that the seventeen-year old male licensed driver from Fairfield of a 2015 Maserati allegedly caused the crash.
It is alleged that the Maserati was initially traveling west on Greenbrook Road in the right lane behind a vehicle that the driver felt was going too slow. The Maserati then performed a lane change in order to pass the other vehicle. After successfully passing that vehicle, the Maserati returned to the right lane as it intended to make a right turn onto Passaic Avenue.
When trying to make the turn onto Passaic Avenue, it is alleged that the vehicle began to swerve out of control. It then struck a vehicle on Passaic Avenue, which was waiting to make a left turn onto Greenbrook Road. The Maserati then struck two other vehicles on Passaic Avenue. As a result of the crash, five people were injured with three of them being transported to the hospital. None of the injuries were deemed severe or life threatening. The driver of the Maserati was issued eleven summonses to include careless and reckless driving, failure to observe a traffic control device, violating passenger restrictions for provisional drivers and violating decal requirements for provisional drivers.
The next incident took place on December 27, 2019 at approximately 9:30 PM on Sand Road. In this case, Sergeant John McGrory was traveling west on Sand Road in an unmarked police vehicle and was about to make a left turn onto Stag Trail. It is alleged that just as he was making the turn, he noticed a 2018 BMW, operated by a seventeen-year old female licensed driver from Fairfield, attempting to improperly pass his vehicle on the left. The officer was able to steer to the right to avoid the collision, however, the driver of the BMW lost control of their vehicle.
The vehicle then left the roadway and went onto the lawn of #115 Sand Road. The BMW then struck a 2020 Audi, which was parked in the driveway. The Audi was then pushed into a stone garden wall and then into the home’s foundation. No one was injured in this incident and the there was no structural damage to the home. The driver was issued summonses for improper passing, careless driving and for not displaying a reflectorized provisional driver decal.
“Thankfully, it appears that only by the grace of God that neither of these incidents resulted in serious injury or death. We are hoping that by thoroughly reporting these two accidents to the public it will provide parents with a good opportunity to speak with their children about how they operate their cars and will allow young drivers to also reflect on how they drive. Most importantly, we are hopeful it averts a tragedy in the future.” said Chief Anthony G. Manna.
The police department is also reminding the public about the following conditions placed on New Jersey provisional licensed drivers:
· Provisional drivers must display a reflectorized decal on each license plate
· No driving after 11:01 PM and before 5:00 AM
· Parent(s), guardian(s) or dependent(s) are allowed as passengers. A dependent is a permit or probationary driver’s child, not siblings.
· Only one additional passenger is allowed unless accompanied by a parent or
“While there are some who may not agree with the restrictions placed on provisional drivers it is state law and the Fairfield Police Department will have zero tolerance for provisional driver’s license violations and vehicles operated in a careless or reckless way. In addition, our police department intends on meeting with the administration of West Essex High School and with police department representatives from the other sending districts in January to see if more can be done to educate high school level drivers about the dangers of operating a car carelessly” said the chief.
Authorized by: Chief Anthony Manna