Gridlock: The Dangers and Penalties
Over the last several years traffic "gridlock" has increased remarkably. While it can happen on any roadway, usually at the intersection of two or more roadways, drivers in Salem's Riley Plaza intersection are sometimes forced to wait through several cycles of light changes before being able to continue on to their destination.
The Dangers of Gridlock
Gridlock leads to ripple effect traffic back-ups in other intersections, forces pedestrians out of the crosswalk and into travel lanes, adds to frustration and incidents of road rage and can delay emergency vehicles quick passage to answer emergency calls.
Salem's Busy Intersections
The following is a list of some of downtown Salem's intersections that are prone to gridlock or yielding/blocking violations:
- Washington & New Derby Streets at Riley Plaza
- Norman & Margin Streets at Riley Plaza
- Summer & Norman Street
- Washington & Essex Street at Lappin Park (Heavy Pedestrian Traffic)
The Penalties of Gridlock
Drivers causing gridlock can be charged with the following motor vehicle violations:
|Violation||MGL Chapter & Section||Fine|
|Entering a Busy Intersection||Chapter 89 §9||$150|
|Blocking an Intersection||Chapter 89 §9||$50|
|Red Light Violation||Chapter 89 §9||$150|
|Failure to Yield Right of Way||Chapter 89 §8||$35|
|Failure to Yield to a Pedestrian in Crosswalk||Chapter 89 §11||$100|
|Passing a Motor Vehicle Stopped for a Pedestrian in a Crosswalk||Chapter 89 §11||$100|
|Stopping on or Blocking a Crosswalk||Chapter 89 §11||$200|
|Failure to Yield to Emergency Vehicle||Chapter 89 §7a||$100|
Motor vehicles idling unnecessarily in an intersection add to poor air quality as exhaust fumes fill the air.