NJ Town Approves $1,000 Fine for Not Taking Cover During Lightning Threat
A New Jersey town has approved a plan to fine residents $1,000 if they don't run for cover within 10 minutes of a lightning warning.
The boro council in Cresskill took the action after sports teams were refusing to get off fields and parks during severe weather.
Lightning detectors have been installed in seven locations around town to alert when lightning comes within 10 miles of the boro. The alarm blasts for 15 seconds and strobe lights warn until at least 30 minutes.
"It gives them a good heads-up and the kids know when to get off the field. I think it's great," said George Sikoryak, a Cresskill resident.
Coaches will now have to sign an agreement regarding storm safety before they get a permit to play. If they violate the agreement, they’ll face the fines.
“People feel like 'We've been outside for years and nothing's going to happen,' well, that's not necessarily the case, especially with open fields,” Cresskill parent Renee Rodriguez said.
The boro council unanimously approved the proposal for the new law.
"The boro has a legal and moral obligation to make sure residents are safe so this is one of the programs they're putting in place to put some weight behind it," Cresskill Fire Chief Christopher Ulshoefer told NBC 4 New York.