Hatboro Fatality Spurs Talk of Road Upgrades

Hatboro residents have asked the Hatboro Borough Council to make improvements to Warminster Road following last month's pedestrian death.

A month after a 75-year-old Upper Moreland pedestrian was killed while walkingin Hatboro, her family and a neighbor have forged a campaign to have Warminster Road made safer.

Hatboro resident Scott Wenger, an interventional radiation specialist for Cooper Hospital in Camden, shared with the Hatboro Borough Council how in November he tried to save the life of Upper Moreland resident Dorothy Lodge, who had been struck by a car practically outside of his Lycoming Avenue home in November.

"I never want to see out in front of my home what I saw that night," Wenger, a father of four and medical professional of 20 years, said Monday night. "I was scared."

Wenger, along with Lodge's daughters, Joan Schemmer and Dot Stanley, said they would like to see measures put in place to slow traffic speeding by on the road, which has a posted speed limit of 25 miles per hour. 

Hatboro Police Chief James Gardner said police regularly do speed enforcement on the roadway, which is jointly owned by Hatboro and Upper Moreland Township. Gardner would not comment on whether speed was a factor in Lodge's death.

The addition of sidewalks on both sides of the street would certainly step up safety, Gardner said.

"We certainly don't want pedestrians walking on the street," Gardner said. 

Lodge's daughter's said the vivacious Red Hatter, avid gardener and employee of Sunrise Assisted Living was hit by a vehicle as she crossed the street. The driver, a 60-year-old Upper Moreland man, has not been charged.

Lodge's death, coupled with a hit and run days before at the 7-Eleven in Hatboro, made for a "difficult month," according to Wenger.

Wenger, who reached out to State Rep. Tom Murt (R-152) for support before being redirected back to the municipalities that own the road, said speeding has been an issue on Warminster Road at least since he moved there from New Jersey seven years ago. 

In January 2011, a 25-year-old Horsham man was killed in a hit and run crash on South Warminster Road in Hatboro

Wenger said he'd like to see one or two more traffic lights, speed bumps, a flashing warning sign and stepped up speed enforcement measures. Ideally, Wenger said he'd like cooperation among Hatboro and Upper Moreland in finding a solution.

"This isn't a Christmas list by any stretch," Wenger said. "These things aren't $15 or $20 fixes."

Hatboro Council President John Zygmont said the issue would be discussed during the borough's next public safety committee meeting.

Gardner suggested Wenger reach out to Murt and Senator Stewart Greenleaf for help moving a state law to fruition that would permit radar for speed enforcement.

"It is purely a matter of public safety," Gardner told Patch, adding that opponents of radar often contend it's simply a revenue generator.

Ultimately, Gardner said no amount of enforcement can take the place of drivers traveling safely.

"They need to slow down," Gardner said. "People need to be responsible."

K. Thom. December 18, 2012 at 11:00 PM
We need more motor vehicle regulations. You dont have a right to own a vehicle. How many people have to be injured or die before we do something. If you want a car you should need to go through testing and application processes as well as have regular drug and alcohol testing. Also cars should limited to 25 mph top speed. There's no need to go any faster than that to get anywhere you're going.
Liberty 1 December 19, 2012 at 12:50 AM
I agree!!! In fact let's just close Warminster Road for automobile use - make it a nice park with a real nice walking path and only allow horses to be used as a means of transportation. If that works out we could do the same for East Montgomery Ave. where speed and running the stop sign at Penn St. is evidently sport for many. I am sure that York Road could use an "upgrade" also. THAT is a mess. As far as testing and application - I thought we already did that - but if doing it twice works, sure go for it. I guess all those mass stops don't count as drug and alcohol testing either. I don't mind voluntary drug/alcohol testing as long as our political leaders have one also. I would also include you KT but I am afraid you might fail.
K. Thom. December 19, 2012 at 01:32 AM
liberty what kind of heathen are you? Forcing horses into what is essentially slavery. Not to mention our fragile earth cant handle the excess emmissions from the hind quarters of more work animals. On your other ideas a walking path biking path isnt bad. Lets regulate anyone who works within 3-5 miles of their homes must walk or ride bicycles, as long as the bikes have some form of speed limiter, lights, and noise makers so pedestrians arent startled. Its time to take our roads back from these unregulated out of control automobiles that are just killing machines.
Mark Rummer December 19, 2012 at 08:37 AM
I agree. We need at least 2 or 3 traffic lights on Warminster Road to slow everyone down. Perhaps a few of those 4-way stops signs that politicians have used on virtually every side street in the area to slow people down and create reasons for people to complain cars are stopping all the way in front of their houses and the 10th stop sign in 100 yards. Just like the removal of virtually all passing lanes over the years to slow people down. I live on County Line Road. How about some speed bumps or stops signs out here? Or where my mother lives on 563 in Nockamixon where people cruise about 70mph? Oh wait, speeding is obviously a problem specific to Warminster Road. I'm sure all the speeding maniacs just feel compelled to speed there as opposed to any other streets they drive on. More stop signs, traffic signals, and speed bumps will fix that. We all have an extra hour to spend driving to work and going grocery shopping so Mr. Wenger doesn't have cars speeding on HIS ROAD. Obviously nobody sped in NJ before he moved here.
clw December 19, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Resident. All the above comments are way off the subject at hand. A women was struck and killed crossing her local street to go a down her street to get her nails done. A 60 year old man killed her and fled the screen leaving her body mangled on the street. Sorry to b so graphic but for anybody who witnessed that it was tragic. For comments that are mocking the cause to prevent another lost life is as bad as the the hit and run driver. Must b so terrible to have a concerned resident like Mr Wenger. Scary to think u r my neighbors.
scott wenger December 19, 2012 at 11:08 AM
Start your own cause then. dont knock people for wanting to protect themselves and their family and friends. you got an issue with me personally, then thats a different story and Im not intimidated by ignorance.
K. Thom. December 19, 2012 at 07:02 PM
I'm not mocking. There's absolutely no reason for regular people to drive over 25mph. All cars should be recalled and speed limiters installed on them. Before owners get their cars back they need to pass a background check and mental health evaluation. We have trains, buses, taxis , you dont need a car. The more regulations on motor vehicles we have, less tragedies like this will happen.
Tori December 19, 2012 at 07:50 PM
If they had a cop parked on the side street to give tickets out to all of the people who speed on Warminster Road, Hatboro would be a really wealthy little town. While they are it, start giving tickets out to the people who litter as well. I am really tired of picking up your Dunkin Donuts, Wawa and McDonald wrappers/cups off of my lawn. Whoever does this is disgusting and inconsiderate. Also, smokers, throw your empty pack out while you are at the gas station. No need to throw it out the window. However I am sure this mentality isn't shared by many.
sally December 19, 2012 at 08:09 PM
What makes you think the police will be able to solve this problem? After all they could not stop one of their own from stealing.
Mark Rummer December 19, 2012 at 10:00 PM
You're right Sally. A lot of the cops around must be dirty. Too many cops arrested in this area in recent years. Numerous in Warminster and Upper Moreland and Horsham, and now one in Hatboro. The only honest ones anymore are some of the state troopers or some of the feds. If you want something done about speeding, call them. Local cops are just thugs. And a word of advice, don't call them for help with something if you missed court or have a warrant or because they don't care about your problems and will just arrest you for the warrants. We're all just another number to them.
Jon Walker December 19, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Seems to me that a lot of people aren't doing 25 on that road because it should be a 35 or 40 zone. I got caught in a standard small town money making scheme there a couple years ago when the Hatboro cops set up a speed trap and wrote everyone doing like 12 or 13 over the limit. The day I had court there was like 40 people there for the same thing. Nothing but making money for this po-dunk town. Everyone was talking about how they need to get a life and find real crime to fight. Such a scam. That road being a 25 is a joke and the cops are already heavy handed writing junk tickets just to justify their petty existence.
Liberty 1 December 20, 2012 at 01:29 AM
My bad. Sorry. I thought you were just kidding around.
Liberty 1 December 20, 2012 at 01:43 AM
You overbearing, judgemental, drama queen bore. Since when is a hit and run where a poor lady is left "mangled" equivalent to humor being used to point out absurd over the top reponses? Turn off msnbc and put away your tissues. Sometimes s@#t happens. Correct anything that can be corrected resonably and move on.
Liberty 1 December 20, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Couldn't agree more about the trash. Our front also is constantly covered with the above mentioned trash. A lot is from the upstanding youth in our community. They have no problem trashing someones property. I have promised myself that one day I will follow one of these geniuses and then collect all the trash I can and dump it on their parents lawn.
Liberty 1 December 20, 2012 at 01:51 AM
I get the feeling that you don't drive. And you lost your license. With more traffic lights come more pollution from cars sitting waiting for the light to change
Liberty 1 December 20, 2012 at 02:02 AM
25 is too slow for that road. And it is an unfortunate fact of life that as localities get squeezed on raising taxes the "road tax" has grown more prevalent. A ticket supports several functions that have nothing to do with the ticket. As for dirty cops, every profession has criminals working in it and law enforcement isn't any different. It is the politicians that are now making tax collection a primary police function and the police must fill the need for revenue.
clw December 20, 2012 at 02:09 AM
ok liberty, i will stoop to your level. These comments on this site are the most unintelligent pieces of Hatboro TRASH I have even communicated with. Have fun speeding and getting arrested along with the others on this site who are only concerned with trash and increasing the speed limit and dodging the police. GET A JOB and a LIFE. Maybe just MAYBE get e degree or a least a high school dipolma. Apparently you are ignorant to see past your own issues to appreciate when someone is doing good for others. Get your head out the the bottle or drug of choice! Maybe you all should get together the drag race down your street. I am sure you spend your day making comments on this site cause you have nothing else better to do. This will be my last reply cause I HAVE A LIFE, SO WHAAA!!!!!!!
K. Thom. December 20, 2012 at 04:58 AM
Why is this so hostile? Again I offer that you don't NEED to drive faster than 25mph. You can get everywhere you want to go at that speed. Safety for motorists and the general public will be increased. There will be no more accidents or deaths. All drivers will be required to pass background checks, drug/alcohol sreenings, and a mental health evaluation. All vehicles will have speed limiters installed and inspections should be twice a year instead of once. These are common sense regulations that will increase safety and limit deaths. What is one life worth? Why isnt this being taken seriously? These costs could all be covered by the consumers and taxes.
S. Jerry December 20, 2012 at 05:53 AM
You people are a disgrace. How about you all grow up. Whether it was due to pedestrian wearing dark clothing and walking in road in darkness, the driver speeding, or being blind, or simply not able to see her, or distracted, or drunk or high, nobody knows yet. So how about you all stop judging or forming opinions, and bad mouthing the politicians or the police. Get a life. Nobody knows anything yet. But you all obviously have the answers. How about we just accept that some people are idiots and will speed no matter what we do. Just like some people smoke. And some people do drugs. And some people hurt others. And some people drink and drive. No ONE person is going to change the fact that some people are just idiots and don't care about no one but themselves.
Ezra Williams December 20, 2012 at 06:27 AM
Wenger and K. Thom. You are the reason I road-rage when I drive. You are the ones who drive 5 or 10 under the speed limit in the left lane and refuse to yield for faster traffic despite it being the law. Yes, I'm the guy that passes you on the right while hanging my middle finger out the window at you. I drive 5-10 above the speed limit when pressed for time. I know that makes me the worst person since osama bin laden but you are equally unreasonable on the other side of the spectrum. Standard liberal "not in my backyard" clowns. I'm not a criminal for driving the speed limit or slightly over it. Anymore than you are for driving under the limit. Get a clue N.I.M.B.Y.
scott wenger December 20, 2012 at 10:38 AM
Youre also the same guy who could never be mistaken for Einstein.....Why not just give out your lisence plate number so you can make it even easier for you to be identified. Im glad youre probably not concerned because youre they type that needs not be in a town like ours. I think its safe to assume, we'll be seeing your name in some police blotter soon. Happy Holidays idiot.
J.R. sr December 20, 2012 at 10:58 AM
K Thom, your idea of not needing to go faster than 25 mph is the most outlandish thing I have heard in a while! I NEED to travel faster than 25 mph to pick up my son from preschool. I work in Chalfont, clocking out anywhere from 4 to 4:30, and then must travel to ABINGTON before 6 pm. It already takes me over an hour to cover that distance, traveling at or just slightly above the posted speed limits (aside from when I get stuck behind someone who is either scared to death of their car, or trying to save the universe in their hybrid). A universal 25 mph would easily TRIPLE that travel time. No thank you. As for Warminster road being a 25 mph zone, why is it that once you get past byberry road it goes up to 35? Maybe we should use our heads when proposing adjustments in our laws, rather than just our hearts....
J Bell December 20, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Having a sidewalk installed on the Hatboro side of the street and more of a formal crosswalk at intersections may help. Use of the radar speed sign more often may help. Drivers tend to slow down when their speed is posted up in front of God and everybody. I realize that some of my suggestions really don't address the issue of speeding on the road and I don't see that issue really going away.
Liberty 1 December 20, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Ahhhh. A resonable thought out response. I just have one question - what are you doing here?
Liberty 1 December 20, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Thats funny! I knew you had humor hiding in there.
Ezra Williams December 21, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Yup, I'm an idiot. But I'm the one you (Wenger) heard about 40 minutes ago zipping down your road, blowing my horn, while holding up my middle finger up (with the interior light on for all to see). Now I'm gonna do that every time since I'm the idiot that is your neighbor and I use Warminster at least several times a day. I drive the speed limit, or slightly over when in a rush. I'm the other 50% you dummy.
scott wenger December 21, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Bring it on tough guy. You're a bad ass being able to hide behind anonimity. Something tells me you are about as significant as the word you barely write. Something tells me no one would waste much time doing chest compressions on you if you were in the same situation as the person who died on that road. You're not worth it scum ball. Be careful who you are trashing cause you may end up eating your words, or someones front fender.
Sue Wilson December 22, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Ezra, you don't deserve to drive a motor vehicle.
Ezra Williams December 27, 2012 at 06:26 AM
"as the word you barely write." You are obviously the literary genius I inspire to be. When I figure out what a "LISENCE plate number" is, perhaps I will give it out. Wait, my five year old daughter pointed out you might be trying to spell the difficult word LICENSE. And I'm the idiot?


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