Reader-submitted: I Sat there Cringing Listening to Rants about the Driving in Lakewood

opinionI want to share with your readers a very disturbing episode that I experienced today. I am hoping readers will internalize the message that can be gleaned from this story.

I was sitting in my car today and one of my children happened to be playing with the radio when suddenly i heard this playing on the radio station. It was a talk show with the theme of the hour being “what the heck is going on in Lakewood”?.

I sat there cringing listening as caller after caller kept getting on the air and ranting all about how terrible the traffic is in Lakewood, and more importantly how bad the Jewish people are driving in Lakewood.

Some of the things mentioned were how drivers don’t stop at stop signs properly, make right turns from left lanes,tailgate, and generally drive recklessly More than one caller mentioned how people push carriages right into the road while cars are driving fast.The host on the show actually said “you would think that even if they don’t care about themselves at least they should care about their children.”

They also mentioned that the people walk around in all black and dart out in front of driving cars while talking on the phones.

There was lots of other extremely negative comments being made about Jews in Lakewood and how they drive and how they act. It was such an unbelievable Chillul Hashem.

Every caller that i heard only had negative and hateful things to say about the Jews in Lakewood. I actually only heard the last 15 min of the show. Yet in those 15 min the amount of hatred, and anti antisemitism coming through the air waves was astonishing.

The sad part is that there is some truth to this problem.

If we can all learn from this to be more careful with how we drive and how we act.The world and especially our neighbors are constantly watching us let us set a positive example and strive to make a kiddush Hashem wherever we are especially behind the wheel.

Mrs. C,
A Lakewood Resident.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. I have news for all of you when I was driving on the parkway on Sunday they were hundreds of people on their cell phones it has nothing to do with Lakewood it is a national problem

  2. Thank You for sharing this wake-up call.

    We can all give defenses and it’s true that we’re not all that bad, but let’s just take some lessons to heart and work extra carefully to be extremely courteous and responsible on the roads. It’s a chiyuv.

  3. It has nothing to do with the people of Lakewood in particular!

    It has to do with anywhere that is congested & a lot of traffic on a daily basis, people just lose their patience.

    Just go for example to Manhattan for a few minutes & you will see that it is a lot worse.

  4. The cell phone might be a national problem but you’re delusional if you think the driving habits by many (if not the vast majority) is acceptable in Lakewood. It’s not hard to understand how Lakewood is viewed as a place to avoid. The next update in gps should have an “avoid Lakewood” option, along with the usual “avoid tolls”.

  5. No doubt they don’t need any more reasons to vent their hatred for Jews, and driving behavior needs serious improvement..but their venting was simply an expression of their vitriolic anti-Semitism, of which it carries all the markings

  6. you know what part im disgusted about? the fact that if the talk show was about any other race, ethnic, or religious group, there would have been a riot the next day, and screams and shouts of “racists”!!! the only reason they know they can pick on us is because they know we hate fighting and will just keep quiet and let it go…no wonder there is so much anti semitism in the world- there are so many gullible ppl out there listening to every radio show and tv program that spews lies about jews….this is galus…

  7. I heard it, it went on for 45 minutes, sorry to say but a lot of it was true, no one said it doesn’t happen elsewhere but but it’s pretty bad in lkwd.

  8. I heard the same talk on the radio a few months ago, and like was was disturbed.
    No, Lakewood is not worth then other cities, that is, other then the congestion that we have on the roads.
    It is only that they expect more from a orthodox Jewish person.
    I remember being with a non orthodox older lady, and she was in a rant how a Rabbi (a chasidish guy) was smoking? I tried to explain her that he is no rabbi, just wears clothing ad per his sect, but to no avail.
    Being a frum person we should all step up to the plate, and try to act as a kiddush hashem, go,, לפנים משורת הדין, and next time you hear the radio they will say how courteous the drivers are in Lakewood.

  9. While I agree totally with the article, Mrs C and the comments miss the main point. True it is a Chilul HaShem, but the bigger issue is that it is a Sakanas Nefashos. When people drive recklessly and don’t follow the traffic laws they are puting there lives and the lives of everyone else in danger. Until we internalize this real danger it will never be resolved.

  10. Although I didn’t hear the show (and if its so antisemetic why would you want to listen)I assume that the cause of the discussion was accidents. Didn’t it interesting that many of those accidents happened on shabbos (the Sabbath) when the orthodox people of Lakewood are not even on the roads!

  11. Before I write, I want to let you know that I am a Gentile. I have had nothing but positive experiences with the Orthodox Jewish community of Lakewood. Let’s face it, there’s good drivers and bad drivers of all races, ethnic groups, religions, etc. To say all the Jews in Lakewood drive crazy is wrong to say. When driving in a largely populated town or city, there will always be some crazy drivers. It’s not just Lakewood. People are complaining because Lakewood has changed within the last 10-15 years. It has become crowded, not just with Orthodox Jews, and everyone can say that driving through the town is an issue. Not everyone is anti-Semitic. If some people encounter a Jew who is not a good person, they base that one experience on their opinion and say “all Jews are bad”. They don’t realize that there are a lot of Jews that are great people. Some people just don’t know any better.

  12. I also heard part of it while driving (my excuse is the good NJ traffic). It was a Jew bashing session to explain an incident that followed an accident between 2 non-Jews and if I’m not mistaken it happened before sundown on Saturday when the orthodox don’t even drive. While some of it was true they were enjoying nonsense at our expense for entertainment. They were enjoying and repeating a claim that orthodox people drive without a license because they think it is like insurance and only 1 family member needs to get it for a family plan!? There were other outrageous claims basing this issue on a religious issue & not congestion like we all now it is.
    The constant building of town houses which end up housing 2 families on streets and in areas that can not accommodate the traffic has left every person walking or driving on edge to get where they need to in a timely fashion.

  13. #11, go to police headquarters and ask them to show you the average accident rate per day. You will see that shabbos has the least by a lot. For instance on my way to work yesterday, I saw 3 car accidents (I work 15 minutes from home). Blaming other people will not make us any better.

  14. I am Jewish and not member of the community. I complain on a regular basis if I need to drive through Lkwd. Something needs to be done. People need to pay attention. If you don’t like what people are saying, then be better drivers. Pay attention and follow the laws. Save everyone the grief. If such extreme amounts of people are saying negative comments then reconsider that there is truth behind it.

  15. I would like to know which radio station. I would want to pull our advertising from them if we use this station. Your right any other religion/race/lifestyle there would be call for boycotts, shouts of racism. But I am in a position to pull ad dollars from them.

  16. Yes, it is true that driving in Lakewood is bad. However, as many commenters point out-take any town as built up as Lakewood, with HORRIBLY poor infrastructure and you will get the same results. A very large percentage of the bad accidents have been happening on Saturday-a day the “community” doesn’t drive.

  17. I dont live in lakewood only come there once in a while but i have to say lakewood drivers are too slow for me. I’m the one who stops for 1 second instead of full 3 seconds but you people in lakewood feel the need to stop for 5-6 seconds.
    And when its your turn to drive you’d rather sit there and wait for me to drive first. It’s a bit annoying but thanks.

  18. One caller even said when 2 orthodoxy’s get into an accident they won’t even call the cops. They will call a Rabbi who will come down and settle it between the 2 parties. LOL! Mostly just antisemitism…

  19. heve you ever driven in New York City, Paris, Italy I have and Lakewood in comparison is like any other busy down in the usa The other places are absolutely down right scary unless your a taxi driver they just go

  20. I too heard the radio program and felt that it was jew bashing but I travel all over the country for business and have not encountered the extent of bad driving that we have here in Lakewood. People routinely:
    Blow through stop signs.
    Cut the corner when turning (they don’t turn wide enough and are driving in the opposite lane due to laziness).
    Pass on the right.
    Don’t signal.
    Signal left when they are turning right (and visa versa).
    Back out of driveways without looking.

    In general if you look elsewhere people as a rule drive more courteously.

    It is a sakana AND a big chilul Hashem. If you don’t care about yourself then drive safe and courteous for your family and at the same time make a kiddush Hashem.

  21. It is now in vogue to bash jews. I drive all over, & the drivers are no worse here than anywhere else. The traffic is worse, but that cannot be helped.
    Mothers Iv’e seen here, are extremely careful with their children, more so than anywhere else! If you choose to listen to Jew hating & jew bashing radio shows, that is your prerogative, but please don’t go Jew bashing yourself. There is no other people that care for others, & care for life, as Orthodox Jews. Jew haters will be jew haters, wherever they may be, whether on talk show, CNN, Reuters…. you get the picture.
    (Did the talk show speak about the Blacks that dress all in “black”, & run in front of cars?)

  22. They are right There are many drivers in Lakewood who are lousy and have no clue what the rules of the road are. We are busy telling the world that we have a Torah that guides us but when it comes to being aggressive on the road we quickly lose sight . The Alter of Kelm would have been equally as critical of our driving

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