New Jersey suburb will fine you $200 for driving through during rush hour

LEONIA, N.J. — A small New Jersey town is closing its streets to nonresidents during rush hour to curtail traffic.

The ban in Leonia, which is just west of New York City, takes effect Monday. Violators could face a $200 fine.

Officials say the town sees increased traffic when there's a delay on the nearby George Washington Bridge. Motorists who use GPS systems or travel apps to find shortcuts are directed to use the tiny borough as a cut-through.

Officials say the subsequent congestion causes major traffic for locals and makes it difficult for emergency personnel to travel through the town.

Leonia police will close numerous local streets during the morning and afternoon rush hours. Town residents have received yellow tags for their cars that allow them to travel on the shuttered roads.

"The whole idea is to keep the vehicles on the major highways where the traffic belongs. We are doing this to keep our residents safe," said Thomas Rowe, Leonia's police chief. "It's certainly extreme. And I've told everybody the traffic is extreme."