Stop the Gridlock & Save Money!

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:

ViolationMGL Chapter & SectionFine
Entering a Busy IntersectionChapter 89 §9$155
Blocking an IntersectionChapter 89 §9$55
Red Light ViolationChapter 89 §9$155
Failure to Yield Right of WayChapter 89 §8$40
Failure to Yield to a Pedestrian in CrosswalkChapter 89 §11$105
Passing a Motor Vehicle Stopped for a Pedestrian in a CrosswalkChapter 89 §11$105
Stopping on or Blocking a CrosswalkChapter 89 §11$205
Failure to Yield to Emergency VehicleChapter 89 §7a$105

Please note that these are merely approximate fines, are subject to changes in the MGL and may be inaccurate.

Environmental Impact

Motor vehicles idling unnecessarily in an intersection add to poor air quality as exhaust fumes fill the air.

Traffic Jam

Traffic Light