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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

New Jersey shores curfews placed onto teens

Fun+fact+about+the+Jersey+shore%3A+Due+to+sand+deposits+from+northern+beaches%2C+Wildwood+beaches+grow+by+10-20+feet+per+year.
Photo Credit: Danielle Allen
Fun fact about the Jersey shore: Due to sand deposits from northern beaches, Wildwood beaches grow by 10-20 feet per year.

After the events at Seaside Heights during Memorial Day Weekend, over 20 New Jersey beach towns have enforced new curfews for people under the age of 17. Even beaches that have not had these issues are also beginning to enforce these newfound curfews.

Non-Curfew Towns

There are still a few towns that you can visit no matter the time, and no matter your age. Towns like Avalon, Avon-by-the-sea, Bay Head, Belmar, Brick, and around 15 other beaches. As one may assume, the beaches that do not have curfews are more of the “family” beach towns.

Curfew Towns

The start times of the curfews range from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. For the most part, most towns have basic time rules, in Beach Haven, anyone under 18 is not allowed out from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. While some of these times are simple, there are towns like Wildwood. Wildwood is known as a party beach town, where seniors go after prom and groups go for a weekend away. On the Wildwood boardwalk, after 10 p.m. they announce that anyone under 18 needs to exit the boardwalk. If you don’t abide by the curfew or refuse to show ID, you are faced with a fine and/or need to be picked up by a legal adult. After two warnings, a child’s parents could face fines from $250 to up to $1,500 for repeated offenses.

Wildwood Rules

Besides Wildwood’s basic 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless accompanied by an adult rule, Wildwood also has a three-tiered, multi-date system:

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Under 14, weekdays, Sept. 15 – May 15: 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.; weekends and the night before legal holidays and “closed school” days

Sept. 15 – May 15: 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.; between May 16 and Sept. 14: 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Ages 14-17, weekdays, Sept. 15 – May 15: 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.; weekends and the night before legal holidays and “closed school” days

Sept. 15 – May 15: midnight to 6 a.m.; between May 16 and Sept. 14: Midnight – 6 a.m.
Ages 16-17, between May 16 and Sept. 14: 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.

Stealing

Another issue that these beach towns are facing is people stealing, especially those with a boardwalk. Ashley May, a senior at Colonia High School says, “I understand that shop workers on the boardwalk need to look out for their stores, but the following and staring over does it. Being in Seaside and Wildwood, in every store I walked into I would get stared at and followed around. This caused it to be more of an uncomfortable than an enjoyable experience.”

Effects

This curfew does not only apply to beaches and boardwalks but applies to the whole town. The rule for a majority of this town is that people under 18 cannot be in public places or businesses from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Although, this is not the first time that this has had to be done in Jersey. During the 1990s, panic about underage crime was a worry in places, although, this was in Camden. In Ocean City, they have begun to try to ban things like backpacks being brought onto the beaches and boardwalks. Although, many people do not agree with this new law. How are teens supposed to bring things like a towel and sunscreen to the beach without some type of bag?

Fabian Warth, a senior at Colonia High School says, “I recently spent my weekend in Wildwood for after prom. I am still 17 while most of the people I was with were 18. While walking back to our house after curfew, we constantly had the fear of being stopped. But, I believe that they were more looking for larger groups that looked suspicious, or younger pre-teens who were obviously by themselves.” This is something that most people were able to agree with, that they were looking for certain types of people. Cops weren’t going to target a small group of 2-4 older-looking teens, they were looking more for suspicious groups. Despite that, this may be becoming a nightmare for some teens.

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About the Contributor
Makena Mellito
Makena Mellito, Reporter
Makena Mellito is currently a senior at Colonia High School. She has lived in Woodbridge Township all of her life, attending Clarment Avenue School #20, Colonia Middle School, to now being a senior at Colonia High School. She enjoys spending her time at cheer practice, hanging out with her friends or even just chilling at home. Mellito has been cheering for 13 years and is a current member of the competition cheerleading team for Colonia. She was captain of the varsity game team. Mellito hopes to go to school to study criminal justice and psychology.

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