Police Chief Rob Lawson Pulls Over 4 Drivers For Swerving Around Him At Pedestrian Crossings

police chief lawson unmarked vehicleEXCLUSIVE: The next time a vehicle is stopped in front of you at a Pedestrian Crossing, think twice before driving around it. You may kill someone. In fact, Police Chief Rob Lawson who very rarely pulls over drivers, recently pulled over four drivers for driving around his unmarked vehicle when he stopped to let pedestrians cross.

“I don’t usually pull anyone over, but this is something I consider extremely dangerous”, Police Chief Rob Lawson tells TLS”. “It can end up killing someone”, he says. “So when the pedestrian finished crossing, I activated my lights and pulled them over”, says Chief Lawson.

The law, which took effect in April, has help decrease the fatality rate in NJ officials say.

However, many drivers feel that the new law poses a bigger danger than before.

“I was stopped at a crossing and the car behind me just continued driving right around me, almost killing the mother and child in the crosswalk”, a driver tells TLS.

But Chief Lawson says there’s just so much he can to get residents to follow the new law, which is being strongly enforced by police on Clifton Avenue and Forest Avenue, the most pedestrian-congested roads in town.

“I’ve sent out articles a number of times to not just the local media, but to the APP, Star Ledger and others, Chief Lawson says”, a similar response which he gave to Mayor Steven Langert at a recent Township Committee meeting when a woman came to complain about this issue.

Why the motorists drove around the Chief?

“The drivers I pulled over all had similar reasons for why they drove around my stopped vehicle” Chief Lawson says. “They said they thought I was turning left, and maybe forgot to signal”.

The drivers were lectured on the dangers of the infraction committed, and were let off without a summons.

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  1. It has happened to me on Forest Avenue & Clifton avenue more than once, & it wasn’t just swerving round it was nasty honking too.

  2. Thank you Chief Lawson for enforcing the law. It is extremely kind of him to do so without even issuing a summons. I hope those people at least appreciated it and learned their lesson.

    I have had similar incidents. I wonder if maybe they should make an addition to the law that would require drivers to put their hazards on when letting a pedestrian cross. That way noone(well I don’t know if I can say that in Lakewood) will think the car is turning left….

  3. to “Thank You”i am happy u r thinking of ideas for ped saftey but that one with hazards is silly, hazards are supposed to be used in a breakdown or other similar situation therefore everybody will pass! Great job chief. and guys please always use your signal!

  4. I think that’s a great idea. The driver has to communicate in some way with the drivers behind them.
    I am a very safe driver and today I almost went around a driver who stopped for a pedestrian. I was actually annoyed because I thought he was turning left without turning his blinker on.

  5. I do no longer believe in warnings for such serious offenses and will write tickets to anyone who violates certain laws and offenses……beware

  6. many times i was ready to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and after giving a quick glance in my rear view mirror and seeing a car on my tail i knew that he’d slam right into me if i stopped for them so i didn’t… then i’ll end up with the ticket just cuz i was trying to prevent a car accident…

  7. To all of you who say “i thought he was making a left turn without a blinker so I went around him on the right”…. are you aware that it is against the law to pass on the right shoulder? So i hope you were on a 4 lane highway and you were passing in the right lane… right?

    The shoulder is used for pedestrians, bikers and disabled vehicles. It is ILLEGAL to drive on the right shoulder. You will receive a ticket, 2 points on your license, and you may even hit and kill someone. If someone is making a left turn in front of you, you must WAIT until they turn before driving, unless there is enough room on the right to go around him WITHOUT going onto the shoulder.

  8. #10: If everyone actually FOLLOWED that law, however, it would take about three hours to get from Toms River to Howell on Rt. 9 during the morning rush hour.

  9. so be it, you are not in the position to decide what laws you can and cannot follows based on traffic situations. If you hit and kill someone who is on the shoulder, will that be your defense in court? your concern for traffic backup?




  11. The problem is real. Because you now have to wait until the pedestrian clears the crosswalk, cars are stopped at the crosswalk longer & vehicles try to go around them making for a very dangerous situation. The solution created more problems than it solved.the only way this can work is by putting cones in the other lane forcing cars to wait.

  12. I saw the LPD parked all up and down Clifton Avenue today poised to

    pull people over and most drivers WERE yielding to pedestrians. My

    question is why was the LPD so ready to pull over drivers but did not

    stop and correct pedestrians; part of the law says that enforcement

    and penalties on pedestrians would be increased for failure to cross at

    a crosswalk and only when safe to do so. I saw many people cross

    Clifton Avenue mid-block from between parked cars rather than at the

    crosswalks at the end of each block and they were trying to cross

    when cars were too close to stop safely. I’m all for stopping drivers

    who fail to stop when pedestrians are doing there part and crossing at

    crosswalks when safe but pedestrians who try to cross mid-block and

    just walk out in front of a car forcing them to go around them or slam

    on their brakes should be stopped as well. There needs to be equal

    enforcement on drivers and pedestrians and for all the cops I saw I

    didn’t see that happen.

  13. dumb law. too confusing. put up four way stopsigns, much safer, nobody realizes when it’s a crosswalk, they think the car in front of them ran out of gas

  14. Do you really have to wait until the pedestrian crossed the ENTIRE street? I thought that you just have to wait until the pedestrian crossed your lane!! If we would have to stop for every pedestrian who decides to step into the road, than traffic would never move. It’s almost like the cows in India.

  15. to 13 couldnt agree more.

    Most of Clifton Ave. is 35mph (when children are not present).
    If I’m driving at 35mph and someone steps into a crosswalk, even IF I see him from ablock away — How the heck am I supposed to suddenly stop?

    I know that most of Clifton does not have crosswalks… it’s just an example!

    Multiply the results many times if g-d forbid , it was at night!!!!!!

    Can Chief Lawson explain????

  16. Can a ped get a ticket for crossing when i says dont walk / red man . and do u get a ticket for not stoping for a ped even if he had a dont walk/red man ?

  17. I was enforcing the law in my own way! I’ve been walking in front of thes moving vehicles in order to force them to stop. I assume (and hope of course) that they don’t kill me and my small children I drag along crossing with me. I feel they’ve got to learn the hard way! I will show them exactly who has the right of way!

  18. 19.lakewooder says:
    October 6, 2010 at 6:56 pm
    the real issue everyone is ignoring is there are not enough traffic lights
    Statistics show, & you will notice it yourself most accidents happen at Traffic lights. More are not a good idea.
    Leah says:
    October 6, 2010 at 9:26 pm
    I was enforcing the law in my own way! I’ve been walking in front of thes moving vehicles in order to force them to stop. I assume (and hope of course) that they don’t kill me and my small children I drag along crossing with me. I feel they’ve got to learn the hard way! I will show them exactly who has the right of way!
    It is one thing if you want to commit suicide, although even for that you should be in an institution, if you feel a lesson may be learned, then maybe not. However you have no right to drag your children over in front of moving vehicles, if it is true & I knew who you were, you would be gettiong a visit from DYFS, tonight.

  19. just want to remind the community of wearing REFLECTORS
    its getting dark earlier and well soon be changing the clock
    as a driver i cant count how many times i see pedestrians almost not making it across the wide aves and streets in many unproperly lit parts of town

  20. Loshon Hora, Anonymous and Anonymous= Gullible, Gullible and Gullible Inc. (Maybe they should start a law firm..). It’s a shame your computers don’t have speakers to hear the sarcasm in Leah’s voice.

  21. This is all the fault of HH. He started this whole thing with those crosswalk signs. I want to run them over every time I see one. Maybe he should pay for everyones tickets.

  22. The law is not confusing when you follow it. There are laws for reasons, for your safety and the safety of others, FOLLOW THE LAWS!!!!!
    Get off your cellphones, obey the signs and signals, stop hitchhiking, and use sidewalks, thats what they are there for!!

  23. So the Chief saved lives by stopping cars for violating the law and he is praised. If Officer Hornak did the same would you praise him or want him fired?

  24. To #15, if the people are not crossing at the crosswalk, YOU DON”T HAVE TO STOP FOR THEM. #9, cars shouldn’t be following that close to you in the first place.

  25. When stopped behind a car waiting to turn, it is against the law to use the shoulder to go around them. Practice following this rule when driving, and perhaps you wont feel compelled to drive around those stopped for pedestrians.

    For every 10 mph you are driving, you must be at least 1 car length behind the other driver (approximately 20 feet according to the NJ MVC). That distance should be increased with faster speeds.

    On a typical 35 mph road in Lakewood, it can take the average driver 118 feet to make a sudden stop.

  26. the problem with these laws they are left handed only. meaning, they take the liberal approach on trying to solve a problem. for example if some gets shot they blame the gun and try to stiffen gun laws as if the gun is what killed or shot on its own and as if had there not been a gun available to the perp ILLEGALLY, and as if he would not have done his act in a different fashion anyway.
    NOW, in regards to traffic laws once again they attack the problem left handedly. for example the most violated traffic law and the most ignored from law enforcement to enforce it , is the law “drive right and pass left” the pessimistic liberal who sees the glass half empty attacks those passing on the right. BUT, if not equally even more to blame is the slow poke driver impeding the left lane and not DRIVING RIGHT as he should in-turn causing other motorists to violate the law by forcing them to pass on the left.
    so tell me when was the last summons issued in NJ for slowpoke driving impeding the left lane? its a law just like all other laws nothing less. If the state really wanted to improve the driving behavior they can approach it more direct to the source.
    Likewise,this new law , as you see its normal for people to assume a car stopped at an intersection where pedestrians are not visible to them (due to the obstruction of the vehicle stopped) that the vehicle intends on turning especially if he left enough room to be passed on the right. However, true it is wrong and unsafe , so much likewise, all these vehicles that DO stop at intersections waiting to turn and DONT signal causing an effect that creates such assumptions since one can not know when they are turning. True its a good idea to address this safety law and get people to stop passing on the right when its unsafe, BUT LIKEWISE the root of the problem should be addressed as well.
    if you remove the obstacles from the roadway, better chances people would drive straighter and safer and correctly.
    so if its the LAW then it should be the law all around. but if its liberalism then prepare to spend more tax dollars trying to clean up after the problem since they aint gonna fix it.

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