Route 1 DUI checkpoint was ill-conceived and dangerous

Dear Editor:

On Friday evening, June 9, my wife and I were on our way home from an enjoyable concert at the NJPAC in Newark and everything was proceeding uneventfully until traffic came to a stop on Route 1 South a bit north of Aaron Road. At that point, we had approximately 17 minutes left in our trip and according to our GPS, our expected time of arrival was 9:54 p.m.

What we did not know was that for some reason, the North Brunswick Police Department had determined to shut down all traffic on Route 1 South in order to establish a DUI checkpoint, or a sobriety checkpoint.

The decision was an egregious display of incompetence and disregard for the welfare of the public. The resulting one-hour traffic delay and chaos inflicted upon hundreds of motorists is a testament to the department’s complete lack of foresight and consideration.

First and foremost, the choice of location for this checkpoint was baffling. Route 1 is already notorious for its heavy traffic congestion, and adding this type of checkpoint on a Friday night before 10 p.m. only exacerbated the problem. Did the North Brunswick Police Department not consider the impact of such a decision on the countless motorists? It appears not. Their thoughtless choice demonstrates a lack of understanding and empathy for the community they are supposed to serve.

Additionally, the length of the traffic delay caused by this ill-conceived checkpoint was nothing short of absurd. One hour of standstill traffic is not a minor inconvenience; it is a significant disruption that can have far-reaching consequences for individuals’ lives.

One would assume that a DUI checkpoint, designed to ensure public safety, should prioritize efficient traffic management and minimize disruption. Yet, the North Brunswick Police Department seemed to disregard these basic principles entirely. Their failure to implement appropriate traffic control measures and manage the flow of vehicles effectively speaks volumes about their inability to handle such operations competently.

It is crucial for law enforcement agencies to strike a balance between enforcing the law and ensuring the smooth functioning of the community they serve. In this case, the North Brunswick Police Department’s decision to set up this not only failed to achieve its intended purpose effectively but also caused unnecessary chaos, inconvenience, and frustration for innocent commuters.

Significantly, this checkpoint created an incredibly dangerous condition. As we finally got close to the intersection of Aaron Rd., we saw many drivers make illegal U-turns onto Route 1 North, placing not only themselves and their passengers at risk but doing the same to drivers heading north on Route 1 passing through that intersection.

I would also like to point out that the National Highway Safety Administration has published an extensive 24-page manual outlining, in detail, how police departments should set up sobriety checkpoints. It is obvious that the North Brunswick PD was completely unfamiliar with proper protocol, especially when it came to site selection.

As a result of this fiasco, instead of arriving home at 9:54, we arrived at 10:54, suffering a full one-hour delay as a result of the department’s incompetence. Hundreds of other motorists suffered an identical one-hour delay.

It is imperative that the North Brunswick Police Department reflects upon and learns from this debacle. They must reassess their decision-making processes, consider the impact of their actions on the public, and prioritize efficient traffic management when planning future checkpoints. The citizens of North Brunswick deserve better than the incompetence demonstrated by this ill-conceived operation.

Alan Medvin
Longview Drive

One Comment

  1. I was caught in the same traffic and spent 2 hours in it . 11 pm to 1 am. I have no polite words to describe New Brunswick PD. Whoever is paying taxes in that town should be reimbursed. Short of firing people responsible for this mess would be not enough

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