Police Chief Rob Lawson Sets The New Pedestrian Law Straight

chief_rob_lawson offcVIDEO: With much confusion surrounding the new Pedestrian Crossing law, TLS met with Police Chief Rob Lawson to set the record straight and clarify the law for our readers. The confusion most have with this new law, is discerning when the Pedestrians have the right of way, and when the drivers
are required to stop. Many also found the new law a hazardous one, saying the stopped vehicles have nearly caused pedestrians to be struck as other motorists swerve around them while stopped to let the pedestrians cross.

“The new law requires motorists to come to a complete stop when a pedestrian steps off the curb, whether there’s a crosswalk in place or not”, says Chief Lawson. As for the pedestrian’s part of the deal says the Chief, “Pedestrians should also use good judgement and not step into the road if they see cars coming down the road at a high rate of speed”

Earlier last month, Chief Lawson told TLS that he pulled over several drivers in violation of this new law when they drove around his stopped vehicle. An offense he takes very seriously.

Another pressing issue the Chief addressed now that the clock has changed, was ‘reflectors’.

“In the evening, please, wear some type of reflective clothing”, says the Chief. “This is a problem particularly with the members of the Orthodox community, because they will traditionally dress in dark clothing, and it’s very very difficult to see in the evening”, he said. “I know myself when I drive home going down Clifton Avenue in the evenings now, I sometimes don’t see people until they’re well out into the intersection”. “Don’t always assume a car can see you”, he says.

And to the drivers of the vehicles the Chief warned, “Take extra care if you see a car that’s stopped in the roadway to determine why he stopped”. “Don’t just assume he stopped to talk to somebody or he’s picking up somebody who needs a ride”. “You should assume that he is stopping to let a pedestrian cross the street”.

Failure to observe the law may result in 2 Points and/or a $200 fine.

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  1. “…“The new law requires motorists to come to a complete stop when a pedestrian steps off the curb, whether there’s a crosswalk in place or not”, ..”

    I guess this means that pedestrians can cross in the middle of the block, and I will be in trouble if I hit them, even though they are J-WALKING. I thought NJ has a law against j-walking?

  2. This law is insane. If it had been in place for 10 years maybe it would work, but people don’t automatically think “pedestrian” when they see a car stopped in the middle of the road because it’s such a new law. There should have been a trial period and tons of signs and advertising about this before they just decided to implement it. People are going to get killed and innocent people punished (not to mention emotionally traumatized) because of this stupid law.

  3. Chief Lawson stated that this law applies at any INTERSECTION. I would assume that this means that the pedestrians have no right of way in the middle of a block. I was driving yesterday, and some daring woman dashed into the middle of the street, about a half a block in front of me. I was driving at the speed limit of 35, and it took quite a short stop in order to avoid hitting her. I really hope that this law does will be clarified by the help of this video and other resources, and hopefully those fools will stop in their tracks. I wonder if she was under the impression that she’s covered by “shomer p’saaim Hashem”…

  4. Maybe you should watch the video again. He said you are required to stop for pedestrians whether there is a crosswalk or not, This is at intersections obviously. Pay more attention before posting.

  5. this law makes sense In urban areas where there are low speed limits and lots of traffic lights
    with high density of people crossing.However here in lakewood you can’t expect a car going at 35-40 mph to suddenly stop while a pedestrian dashes into the road .

  6. I notice when drivers attempt to stop for pedestrians crossing, other cars drive on the SHOULDER to go around them. Reminder to all drivers in NJ. It is against the law to pass on the shoulder. Not only is it against the law, it also carries a hefty 4 POINT moving violation. If someone in front of you is turning, and there isn’t another “driving” lane, you must wait till the car turns. You risk hitting a parked car, or worse, pedestrians. You may think there is nothing on the shoulder from your point of view, but it is against the law, and you also risk hitting a car that is following the law, by waiting for the car in front to turn.

    “I didn’t know.” Is NOT an excuse to break any driving laws. As a driver, you have the responsibility to be aware of all motor vehicle laws. If unsure, please review your driver’s manual.

  7. The intent of the law is not to cover people who “dash” in front of you while going 45mph, it is designed for the pedestrians who are stepping into, or already in the crosswalk when the car is far away to see them and stop, yet decides to continue and swerve around them anyway. its about using COMMON SENSE

  8. Another stupid law put in place by the Nanny State……….

    Did it ever occur to our busy legislature that good, normal & sensible laws do not need 50 videos and statements by every police chief to explain the stupid thing.

  9. so, if I’m driving down Clifton Avenue (between 7 Street & County line) where the speed limit is 35mph….. I’m supposed to suddenly SLAM the brake because some pedestrian walked off the curb?!?!?!?!

    Does that sound safe at all???????????


    G-d, have mercy!!!!!

  10. pedestrians should not proceed untill the car comes to a full stop. During late noon hours wiht the sun blocking It is hard to see and we just can assume that a driver will stop.

  11. I was completely not aware of that shoulder law and ill admit i do it all the time if someone in front of me is turning left. I imagine this could create a huge backup especially on rt 9, but the law is the law i suppose

  12. Try this in Boro Park or Flatbush and you’ll easily cut the population in half! The worst part of this is a car in the second lane when a car in the first lane quickly stops for a pedestrian. Good bye Charley! Not too intelligent. In other areas there are markings on the road with signs that are very clear. That makes sense. This doesn’t.

  13. Typical example of our legislature protecting the “weak helpless and innocent pedestrians” against those evil wicked drivers.

    The pedestrian should use “common sense”, when he decides to waltz into the busy street?

    Read: The pedestrian shall decide, in his best judgement, whether or not the driver shall be ticketed, fined, and/or lose his license.

    Chief Lawson: With all due respect, this law is reckless, and should not be enforced unless the pedestrian is already substantially into the street.

  14. I was waiting at a light today, and a police officer was waiting for the light. The light turned green, so I started going, but then, of course, one of our friendly pedestrians started crossing the street. Being a law abiding citizen, I naturally stopped to wait for him to cross. When he was about 2/3 of the way through the crosswalk- THE OFFICER BEEPED AT ME!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s a good thing he didnt give me a ticket for obstructing traffic- LOL!! (wasn’t so funny- I was shaking)

  15. The new law is ridiculous. As a driver for 10+ yrs. I automatically do not register s/o waiitng to cross as they never had right of way. It is out of control and dangerous for ppl to be trooping accross a state highway -route 9- at every intersection “b’c it is the law”. on a highway it does not make sense that drivers should have to stop for ppl. crossing. A revision of the law is needed.

  16. there ought to be a LAW for pedestrians to wear reflectors at night. If there are seat belt laws and cell phone laws then there should be laws for pedestrians also. They also should not be talking on cell phones when crossing the street and should be watching where they are going and only cross where permitted, at intersections and not in between, or they should be ticketed just like drivers who don’t follow the rules.

  17. As a driver of over 34 years. This law has the potential to cause untold accidents. It is telling the pedestrian that he has the right of way, and the vehicle must stop. Well, think about it. How many pedestrians just start crossing the street without even looking to see if there are any cars coming. Some don’t even pick up their heads to look. This is very dangerous and yes, can cause terrible accidents.

    The law should also be for the pedestrians, that they are only allowed to step off the curb if there are no vehicles coming a minimum of 1/2 block away and at some speeds that is not enough.

  18. I think Chief Lawson is correct. I would like to see him voice concern about the money being wasted on hazardous bus routes which he has total contraol of. The twonship could save millions if he woud put together a real plan and put crossing guards back to work. The township would save millions in local funds if a real plan was established

  19. I was recently in the crosswalk waiting for a while to cross 4th St & Clifton Ave none of the cars stopped!

    There was blue police Suv parked on Clifton on side of the senior citizen building between 4th & 5th St. & I was hoping he will stop the cars to allow me to cross

    finelly I see that police Suv coming down Clifton ave not only did he NOT stop any car to allow me to cross after seeing me standing there for a while HELPLESS!

    He just passed me without even stopping himself!

  20. wht about rt 9, how in the world do u get enough nerve to cross 4 lanes of highway somewhere in the middle of the road and think tht its ok when the light is green, can anyone see the sense in tht or not? Is tht to say some have rocks in their bucket, to do tht without any concern for all the traffic comin towards u at a speed of 45 or 50 mph. Just because the law says or just so u think u can,just because u think u can do wht u want why?

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