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Wallington School Dropoff Zones Working, Police Chief Says

Wallington Police Officer Gerald LaVacca helps a youngster.
Wallington Police Officer Gerald LaVacca helps a youngster. Photo Credit: Courtesy: WALLINGTON PD

WALLINGTON, N.J. -- A campaign to get parents to use dropoff and pickup zones at borough schools is succeeding -- in large part due to communication among drivers, neighbors and authorities, Police Chief Carmello Imbruglia said.

"We're still writing tickets for the worst violators," Imbruglia told Daily Voice. "But the problems have definitely lessened."

"The schools are older now," he said. "No one could have had the foresight when they were built to foresee the congestion and the effect on residential neighborhoods."

Over time, more parents began pulling into residents' driveways, backing into crosswalks or stopping in the middle of the street.

Shortly after Imbruglia became chief in May 2014, officers began issuing summonses. One, in particular, was writing 30 or so tickets a month for blocked driveways.

Before long, more than five dozen parents flooded a council meeting to complain.

Imbruglia responded with a public session at the borough civic center.

"Parents want a place to drop their kids and leave without having to park. Residents want to be able to get to and from their homes without people parking in their driveways," he said. "Dropoff zones worked in other towns, so it seemed a good idea."

The zones are lined red on the street, with blue signs in front. Egregious offenders have gotten tickets.

"Everyone can feel safer, too," Imbruglia said. "Our officers are always around the schools and always vigilant."

Not taking chances, Imbruglia also wrote to parents, asking them to:

• Pull up as far as they can in the dropoff zones without blocking crosswalks or driveways;• Keep tires 6 inches or closer to the curb;• Keep the car in park and let kids out curbside only -- not in the street;• Go around the block if the zone is filled;• Return to traffic cautiously.

"If a parent chooses to walk their child to school or see them into the building, you will need to find a legal parking space away from the drop off zone," he said.

Imbruglia also detailed the possible violations and fines, which range from $50 to $100: CLICK HERE .

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