By Chief Steven J. Wojnar
Dudley Police Department
I continue to receive a number of questions surrounding a local intersection. The particular area referenced was along Webster’s Main Street near the Dudley line, between Pleasant Street and Davis Street. There are two traffic signals in this location, one at Pleasant Street and the other before the railroad tracks near Davis Street. Both traffic signals operate simultaneously. When drivers are heading toward Dudley and stop at the red light near the tracks, is it legal to proceed over the railroad tracks, through the first red signal, and stop at the second light?
This area, despite the close proximity of the respective signals, is to be treated the same as any stand alone traffic light. Basically, it is a violation to proceed through the first stop light and stop at the second traffic signal. A solid red traffic signal is the same whether it is near railroad tracks, a street intersection, or other area. The only movements which can be made contrary to these signals are authorized turns on red (Right on red, unless it is otherwise prohibited) or when directed by a police officer.
This location can be confusing as there are three areas of concern. There are the tracks, the intersections of both roads, and the crosswalks. You must pay particular attention as it is a violation to stop on the tracks, in the crosswalk, or block the intersection. The law requires a vehicle to stop a minimum of fifteen feet from the railroad tracks. The light near the tracks is present to insure drivers stop a sufficient distance from the tracks. Several stop lines are present in this area. Violations generally call for civil fines. This area is very busy with both vehicle and pedestrian traffic. For safety purposes, please wait the few extra minutes and observe the appropriate markings and signals.
I wish to take a moment to thank The Patriot Newspaper for their many years of service to our area and, in particular, their assistance with printing this column every week. This article has the distinction of appearing in the final edition of the paper due out on May 8th. For over 10 years, the dedicated staff of the paper has printed this column, printed public information, and provided a tremendous service to our department without hesitation. They have covered numerous events and stories over the years and their presence will be surely missed in our area. I wish everyone there the best of luck for the future.