Salem Police Department
95 Margin Street, Salem, MA 01970 •  Non-Emergency Request for Police 978-744-1212 •  Business 978-744-0171 •  In an Emergency, ALWAYS DIAL 911

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
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.



Salem Police Department 95 Margin Street, Salem, MA 01970 •  Non-Emergency Request for Police 978-744-1212 •  Business 978-744-0171 •  In an Emergency, ALWAYS DIAL 911
CodeRed

Nixle Alert Service Neighborhood-level information by text message and email. Register Now.

MyPD Our MyPD app now available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

FB Find us on
Facebook