Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) today warned his fellow legislators to apply science when considering a piece of legislation which would have legislators set the speed limit at 25 mph along certain stretches of Route 130 in Burlington at all times of the day and night, not just school hours.
Sen. Declan O’Scanlon warns his fellow legislators to apply science when considering A-3576, legislation that would set the speed limit at 25 mph along certain stretches of Route 130 in Burlington at all times of the day and night, not just during school hours. (SenateNJ.com)
The legislation, also known as “Antwan’s Law,” (A-3576) is scheduled for a final legislative vote on Monday, Dec. 17 in the New Jersey General Assembly.
“The bill sponsors and community advocates most certainly have good intentions here. But we have science that is used to set speed limits. Allowing legislators to randomly set speed limits is not the scientific way to do it,” Senator O’Scanlon said. “You don’t alter the speed limit by randomly changing signs on the side of the road. In fact, that could make things more hazardous if those speed limits aren’t backed up by data.”
“We measure and set speed limits based on the 85th percentile formula. Speed limits are set at or below the speed that 85 percent of drivers are traveling. If you arbitrarily lower them, you have the potential to cause more harm and more accidents, because motorists travelling at the speed they believe to be safe could come into contact with motorists attempting to obey an arbitrarily low speed,” O’Scanlon continued.
“The tragic death of Antwan Timbers has nothing to do with a school zone. Antwan was killed by a drunk driver in the middle of the night. He’s remembered as a kind young man with a hope to join the military after school and I completely understand that with every tragedy, the inclination is to want to do something. But whatever is done must do more good than harm. The even greater tragedy that we must face is that sometimes there might not be any legislative redress.
“A legislator’s job isn’t simply to say ‘yes’ and cater to all of the passions of our constituents. Our jobs are much more nuanced, and mandate that we be the most rational people in a room. That might not please everyone, because sometimes our greater, more responsible, mission is to educate rather than placate.”