New Jersey town warns against drive-by celebrations, police say they won't prosecute


One New Jersey town is warning residents against hosting drive-by parades to celebrate special events and milestones.

In an email to parents and staff, the Mount Laurel School District said it was advised that those events contradict Governor Phil Murphy’s order against unnecessary travel.

The email from the school district read in part:

“Our district has been advised by the New Jersey Department of Education Office of School Preparedness and Emergency Planning that recent ‘drive-by’ or ‘wave’ events ‘contravene’ the governor’s orders against unnecessary travel, and promote unsafe practices.”

School leaders say Mount Laurel Police and the county prosecutor's offices said citations could be issued for participating in drive-by events.

“While we understand and appreciate everyone’s wishes to reach out in a more relevant way, please do not participate in events which may result in negative consequences for you and your family,” the district added.

The Mount Laurel Police Department released a statement on Wednesday saying despite reports, they would not prosecute those involved in parades. 

"While the Mount Laurel Police Department is not participating in any of these parades, we strongly encourage residents who do, to do so in moderation and continue to follow the Governor’s directives. We understand the joy and excitement the parades provide and hope they continue to happen in a safe manner. Please see the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office Post concerning our shared views on such parades….." the post reads. 

The department insisted that they have seen how the parades have proven to be "big pick-me-ups to students missing their teachers, teachers missing their students, and people whose birthdays have fallen during this period of extreme social distancing."

The statement continues: 

"We believe Governor Murphy has struck the right chord for drive-by parades, and to address the open questions about them, we provide the following guidance for Burlington County: Drive-by parades should be done in moderation. Any drive-by parade must observe the requirements of social distancing, including that there be no “gathering” of more than 10 people, and no clustering of cars ahead of time to “marshal” for the parade. It should be organized prior to the date through instructions communicated via social media, email, texts, phone calls, etc. Vehicles should be staggered (with only family members or no more than 1 or 2 people in them), with times set for each one to drive by (one at 6:15, one at 6:16, and so on). Vehicles should not linger or congregate after driving by. To be clear, we are not encouraging drive-by parades, because the best advice for all is simply to stay home until we break the back of the coronavirus pandemic. However, we want to offer consistent guidance throughout the County so people considering engaging this activity do so safely and in a manner that complies with the Governor’s Executive Orders. Remember – we encourage compliance, and will address defiance."


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