The speed limit on the Garden State Parkway should be bumped up as high as 75 mph, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon said.
O’Scanlon (R-12) will introduce legislation that proposes speed limits should be based solely on sound engineering criteria.
"When you have properly set speed limits you end with an extraordinarily high level of compliance permitting police to focus on the true outliers who are genuinely putting other people’s lives at risk," he said in a prepared statement, denouncing the myth that people typically drive 10 mph over the speed limit.
"Study after study shows that you can raise and lower speed limits and there is virtually no change in the speeds that people actually drive," he said.
O’Scanlon's legislation would aim to create more uniformed traffic flow and speed limits that would reflect a reasonable person's behavior.
Sections of the parkway with the posted limit of 55 mph are designed to safely handle speed limits of 65 to 75 mph, O'Scanlon said. Approximately 80 to 90 percent of motorists drive between 65 to 75 mph on the Parkway anyway, he said.
"That is the case around the world, people naturally drive at reasonably, safe and prudent speeds,” he said in the statement. "We should never have the situation where observance of a given traffic law makes you a serious hazard to yourself and others.”
In New Jersey, speed limits on certain stretches of highways have increased from 55 mph to 65 mph. When the increases were proposed, people complained that accidents and fatalities would skyrocket, he said.
“But what happened? Speed didn’t change appreciably—on average by a couple miles per hour while the accident and fatality rates continued their pattern of improvement,” he said.