Reader-submitted: Vehicles being Ticketed for Cutting Through Development

opinionThis is a public service announcement for drivers who drive through the development of Andrews Corner on Chestnut and New Hampshire in order to cut the traffic.

I was stopped by a police officer who advised that it is a private property and I may not enter it unless I am visiting. He will be giving out tickets to anyone who passes through in order to cut the traffic. I did not know it was illegal to enter into a development if I was not visiting.

If this is so, can someone please advise what exactly the law permits. It sounds obscured to me, so correct me if I am wrong and let me know if it is in fact illegal or am I just being played, since it seemed like a resident from the development called police to complain about cars entering the complex and the police officer advised that he will hand out tickets. Is it truly illegal or not?

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  1. It is illegal to cut through a property for a shortcut, for example a gas station…. its not illegal to drive in to an open development if it isn’t a gated community as long as your not using it as a shortcut.

  2. Goerge: It says “to avoid a traffic sign”, meaning a stop sign etc. (signal means a light), but does not mention TRAFFIC in itself. The logic would be that it’s illegal to try to outsmart the traffic laws of the area, but there may be nothing wrong (as far as a driving violation) with taking a more clever route to avoid car traffic.

  3. Is a development road, a property or a street?
    What would the difference be then between taking a side street of a main thoroughfare and a street that happens to go through a development?

    The way I understand the above law would be to go through a shopping center (private property) or a fire station (public property) to avoid traffic.

  4. I got this ticket and a court appearance is obligated because there is no set dollar amount on record (Even though a court appearance is not checked off ). You are also forced to pay court fees and you get 2pts.

  5. The cop either doesn’t know the law or is just making an empty threat.
    Public property does not mean a road. Unless the Development is private.

    39:4-66.2. Avoidance of traffic control signal, sign; violations, penalties
    1. Except for emergency vehicles and motor vehicles being operated at the direction of a law enforcement officer, no person shall drive a motor vehicle on public property, except public roads or highways, or private property, with or without the permission of the owner, for the purpose of avoiding a traffic control signal or sign.

    Any person found guilty of violating the provisions of this act shall be liable for a penalty of not less than $50.00 or more than $200.00 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or both.


  6. A simple call to the police station will answer your question. I find it hard to believe that the officer would intentionally mislead, but he is capable of making a mistake.

  7. You don’t save anything. As a matter of fact cutting through the development (speed limit 25 MPH) is actually a longer distance in footage measured to Chestnut than staying on New Hampshire (speed limit 40 MPH). Thinking you are gaining anything except maybe a few seconds by avoiding the light at Chestnut (and only if it happens to be red) is sheer stupidity and creates an unnecessary and likely dangerous traffic condition in the development. The cops should hide around the curves on Lisa Robyn and bag those going more than 25 MPH. That’s some serious money right there.

  8. If the township plows the snow then it is public property and anyone can drive on it. If the snow plowing is paid for by the development then it is private property.

  9. To comment #9 you must not be familiar with the intersection being discussed. The intersection of Chestnut and New Hampshire does NOT have a traffic light. The reason drivers cut through the apartment complex is because there is no light. Since there is no traffic light, the wait to make a left onto New Hampshire coming from Chestnut can get extremely long. Therefore in order to avoid waiting 2-6 min. to make that left turn drivers choose to cut through Andrews Corner and make a left onto New Hampshire from the New Hampshire exit of the development. That being said how can anyone (police officer) prove that a driver drove through a specific development with the intention of using it as a shortcut. Maybe the driver was lost, making a phone call, sending a text or any other reason…..

  10. what about driving through Pine River Village from Washington Avenue? Is that road private or public? Who plows their snow ?

  11. That development is private property. If drive through there to avoid the stop sign because of traffic you are in violation of 39:4-66.2. It does not matter if the exit has stop sign also. What you were stopped for could have resulted in a ticket. If you chose have a trial and testify you would just prove the case for the officer. A word of advice is not to do it or risk the consequences.

  12. To long time lakewooder:Pine river village is plowed privately not by the town and is private property. Also, it’s a one way street at that point and it’s clearly marked by a DO NOT ENTER sign.

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