Officials want 'road rage' law on the books
By JOSEPH P. SMITH
Staff Writer
jsmith@thedailyjournal.com


AT A GLANCE Ordinance 4-2008 amends Chapter 301 of the Buena Vista Township code to include the following: "1a. No person shall operate or use any motor vehicle in such a fashion which is discourteous and/or which causes public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to other operators of motor vehicles and/or pedestrians and/or residents within the confines of the Township of Buena Vista."






BUENA VISTA -- What may be New Jersey's first municipal ordinance on "road rage" is now part of the township code book.
Drivers who act out will pay up to a $1,000 fine and serve up to 90 days in county jail, if the ordinance clears a state government review.

Buena Vista Prosecutor Bob Pinizzotto and township solicitor Mark Stein drafted the rule. Township Committee adopted it unanimously this month.
The adopted ordinance immediately was sent to the New Jersey Department of Transportation to see if it conflicts with state laws.
Pinizzotto said the ordinance fills a frustrating gap in the law.
"It seems to me we're seeing more incidents of bad driving," the prosecutor said. "Not rising to the level of a motor vehicle violation -- but creating problems on the roadway.
"It may not be a criminal matter because there are some issues, with some statutes, which make it difficult for the state to prove someone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt," he said.
A recent example of the need for more legal leverage occurred in Buena Vista. The incident involved a couple that was getting a divorce.
"The husband followed the wife into Buena Vista," Pinizzotto said. "She was so frightened, she wound up swinging into the state police barracks.
"We could not address an issue of a motor vehicle violation in my opinion," he said. "That would have risen to the level of a situation I would have liked to prosecute."
Pinizzotto said he found no similar measure during a review of other municipal codes and state laws.
Hamilton Township, where Pinizzotto also is prosceutor, is looking at the same ordinance, he said. Pinizzotto founded the New Jersey State Municipal Prosecutors Association. He also is its immediate past president.

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