Lawmaker: Speed limits should be increased in NJ

Posted: Updated:

A New Jersey state senator is calling for speed limits to be increased in the state.

A study by the website WalletHub found that New Jersey ranks as the second-to-last state for “traffic and infrastructure.”

The study looked at such factors as heavy rush hour congestion and road quality.

State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon says that increasing the speed limit could improve the traffic in the Garden State. O’Scanlon says that speed limits in New Jersey should be determined based on the “85th Percentile Formula,” which says speed limits should be based on how fast 85 percent of drivers are traveling.

“Right now virtually 100 [percent] of our drivers on our under-posted, limited access highways are breaking the law. Either [they] are all homicidal maniacs, or our method of setting speed limits is seriously flawed,” O’Scanlon said.

Currently the maximum speed limit in New Jersey is 65 mph — among the slowest in the country.

Texas has a maximum speed limit of 85 mph. South Dakota, Wyoming and Idaho all have maximum limits of 80 mph.

O’Scanlon says that he is not necessarily asking for the speed limit to permanently increase in New Jersey, but to change based on traffic flow. 

The senator’s bill would also limit fines for speeding violations. If a diver is caught speeding on a roadway that hasn’t had a traffic study completed, the driver wouldn’t be fined more than $20. He says that studies have shown that raising and lowering speed limits has no effect on how fast people drive.

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