Fire Official Who Hit Children in New Jersey Crosswalk Has 19 Car Accidents on Record

New Brunswick Fire Director Robert Rawls has also had his license suspended 18 times

A local fire director who struck three children as they crossed a New Jersey street has 18 other accidents on his driving record, along with multiple speeding tickets and license suspensions, NBC 4 New York has learned.

New Brunswick Fire Director Robert Rawls was cited for careless driving and failure to yield after hitting the two 14-year-old girls and a 6-year-old boy with his city-owned SUV Tuesday, officials said. The children were in a crosswalk on Livingston Avenue near Delavan Street in New Brunswick; one of the girls broke her leg.

NBC 4 New York has learned exclusively from the state Motor Vehicle Commission that the accident was the 19th for Rawls in 38 years, including one just six weeks ago, another last year, two in 2012, three in 2009 and three in 2008.

Eight were in New Brunswick and the others were in nearby municipalities. 

He was ticketed in one of those crashes, in March 2008, for unsafe operation of a motor vehicle, according to the MVC. There were no other details on record about the others.

His license was suspended 18 times between 1984 and 1995, and he had nine adjudicated violations, or tickets he didn't contest, between 1977 and 2008, the MVC said.

Five were speeding tickets, including twice going 39 mph in a 25 mph zone, and once going 44 in a 25 mph zone.

The license suspensions were not for moving violations; the reasons included failure to appear in court, operating a vehicle with a suspended license and nonpayment of a surcharge. 

New Brunswick officials could not immediately say how he was allowed to drive a city vehicle. A city spokesman said authorities believed a driving record was private information.

There was no answer at Rawls' home Friday.

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