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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Motor Vehicle Accident at Grove St. & Summit Ave. Crossing Guard On-Duty

     Yesterday, Wednesday afternoon, an accident took place at the intersection of Summit Ave. & Grove St. while a Westfield Crossing guard was on duty.  This accident raises the question, "Was the crossing guard directing traffic through the Summit Ave. STOP sign?"  It wouldn't be the first time, nor does it appear to be the last if she did.
     On November 19, 2014 at 7:43am., a phone call was placed to the Westfield Police Department's traffic safety supervisor Lt. Jason McErlean seeking an answer to the question of whether or not civilian crossing guards have the authority to direct traffic through STOP signs.  New Jersey statute states that they do not have that authority. A message was left on Lt. McErlean's voicemail.
Lt. McErlean never responded.
     On January 6, 2015 another phone call was placed to the Westfield Police Department's traffic safety bureau's supervising officer Lt. McErlean.  The phone was answered by Officer Bill Kleeman who stated that McErlean was off for the day.  A message was left for McErlean to return the phone call.  Lt. McErlean has yet to respond to the safety concerns regarding a civilian crossing guard directing traffic through a STOP sign at Westfield Ave & Park St.
     One month later, on February 6, 2015 at 7:23 am., a phone call was placed again to Lt. McErlean after a crossing guard waved traffic through a STOP sign in the absence of any crossing pedestrians and narrowly missed causing a motor vehicle accident at Park St. & Westfield Ave.
A message was left on McErlean's voicemail and again, Lt. Jason McErlean has yet to respond.
   
Why hasn't Westfield Police Department Traffic Safety Officer Lt. Jason McErlean responded?
Has Lt. McErlean been directed by Westfield Police Chief David Wayman, not to respond?

Three separate phone calls to Lt. McErlean and no response so we called three separate insurance companies seeking an answer.

NJ Manufacturers, All-State, and State Farm Insurance all stated that if a civilian crossing guard waves a motorist through a STOP sign and it causes an accident, the motorist that went through the STOP sign is at fault because the crossing guard does not have the authority to direct motorists to ignore traffic laws, only a sworn police officer has that authority.

It would appear that Lt. McErlean and Chief Wayman have chosen to ignore the issue and "roll the dice" hoping that accidents won't happen or that the lack of knowledge of motor vehicle laws by civilian motorists will give them immunity.



3 comments:

  1. He won't answer you because you're right. The crossing guards are directing traffic because all the entitled little kids have to be driven to school bye mommy or daddy and he doesn't want a back up of traffic down all the side streets.

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  2. And unless it's a military vehicle the chief doesn't want anything to do with it. The chief has become engrossed with the military surplus program - to the point where the dept is failing - and he doesn't seem to care.

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  3. McErlean is a "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" cop. Tell the guards to get traffic moving even if it means waving cars through the stop signs but never admit to it because it's illegal.

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