Bill package and petition honors Burlington City student killed in Route 130 school zone by reducing speed limits, increasing penalties for speeding
Senator Diane Allen met with Burlington City students to unveil “Antwan’s Law,” legislation to better protect pedestrians in schools zones by giving municipalities and law enforcement new tools to combat speeding around schools statewide. The Senator has also launched the “25 Saves Lives” petition calling for the swift passage of her legislation.
“Today I witnessed firsthand how passionate Burlington City High School students are about saving lives on Route 130 and in school zones across the state,” Senator Allen added. “It is a tragic reality that Antwan’s death could have been prevented if we had the proper protections in place to keep pedestrians safe. I urge everyone to join our fight and sign my 25 Saves Live petition today.”
Amazing meeting w/ students @ Burlington City High School where we unveiled effort to improve safety in school zones https://t.co/X8krYwm0Ci
— Senator Diane Allen (@dianeallennj) October 24, 2016
On Monday, October 24, Senator Allen met with the Burlington County High School students who started the 25 Saves Lives movement calling for a full-day reduction in the speed limit in the school zone on Route 130 where their classmate, Antwan Timbers Jr., tragically lost his life. His father, Antwan Timbers Sr., has become an outspoken advocate for Senator Allen’s new legislation.
Please sign and share our petition to support making school zones safer for students and pedestrians. You can help save lives! #25SavesLives
“This is a beautiful effort by the students, staff and community to remember my son, Antwan,” Timbers. Sr. said. “His death touched everybody here. I always knew he was going to be a difference maker, and if he was alive he’d be doing great things like this. This legislation is something that can save lives going forward.”
Senator Allen announced at today’s event that she will be partnering with Burlington City High School students to advance the three pieces of legislation, including “Antwan’s Law.”
Senator Diane Allen joined with students to unveil legislation to improve pedestrian safety in school zones in honor of Antwan Timbers Jr.
“I think this can be an important lesson in civics for the students involved in 25 Saves Lives,” Allen said. “I’m looking forward to engaging with the students throughout the legislative process and including them every step of the way. They’ll learn how concerned citizens have the opportunity to influence their government in a positive way.”
“It’s all for Burlington City and Antwan, an ROTC cadet who passed away a couple months ago,” Jessica Lamont, one of the BCHS students who started the movement, said. “It touched my heart to see everyone show up and support our idea.”
— Senator Diane Allen (@dianeallennj) October 24, 2016
“Mr. Flynn approached a few teachers at our school to start the 25 Saves Lives campaign in remembrance of Antwan and all of the pedestrians killed on Route 130,” BCHS Social Studies teacher Alyssa Anderson, said. “Last year Antwan was in my class and most of his closest friends so there was a bond between myself and those students so when we started to launch the campaign these students went out of their way to create posters and start the letter writing process. Through this process the students are becoming more and more engaged in the civics process and starting to not only understand it but enjoy it whereas before they never had the real world experience they are gaining through the 25 Saves Lives campaign.”
Route 130 consistently ranks as one of the deadliest highways in the state for pedestrians. Despite more than 1,000 students crossing the highway each day, the speed limit is reduced for just a few short hours around the beginning and end of the school day.
#25SavesLives Students Welcome Sen. Allen to Burlington City H…What an amazing welcome I was given by the #25SavesLives student activists at our event at Burlington City High School today! With this much support, I have no doubt we’ll succeed in making school zones safer! http://bit.ly/2eKRj8z
Posted by Diane Allen on Monday, October 24, 2016
“I’m in it for all the people who have suffered on Route 130,” BCHS student Angel Castro added. “No one should have to deal with this near their school.”
“Antwan’s Law” would require a permanent, full-day reduction in the speed limit to 25 miles-per-hour on Route 130, by Burlington City High School and Wilbur Watts Intermediate School. The two schools are located directly on Route 130 North and South.
“The safety of our kids is so important to us,” Superintendent Dr. Patricia Doloughty, said. “Route 130 is such a dangerous road, and anything that can improve safety around our school we’re happy about. We appreciate this effort by Senator Allen.”
The second bill in Senator Allen’s package would increase penalties for drivers who speed in school zones along highways like Route 130. The third bill would give municipalities the authority to lower speed limits in school zones.
“Our students and staff are very concerned about pedestrian safety in our neighborhood,” Burlington City High School Principal James Flynn added. “Our awareness campaign kicked off last week, and we’re very excited to have Senator Allen hear our voices. Our students want to make a lasting and impactful change in our community, and we’re looking forward to working with Senator Allen to advance this new legislation.”
“As a longtime advocate for pedestrian safety, I am proud to sponsor Antwan’s Law calling for a full-day speed limit reduction on Route 130, as well the two other bills to combat speeding,” Senator Allen said. “Under this legislation, dangerous drivers will face more severe repercussions for speeding, and municipalities will have more control to enact safer speed limits in near their schools. This will ensure these protections are implemented quickly and efficiently.”
The 25 Saves Lives petition calling for the enactment of this bill package can be found here: http://senatenj.com/25saveslives/.