NJ man starts petition to raise GSP speed limit to 75 mph
A resident of Lakewood Township, NJ by the name of Mendel Rosenfeld feels the need for speed and he knows he's not alone. He has started a petition to Gov. Murphy on Change.org asking that the speed limit on our Garden State Parkway be raised to 75 mph. A brief explanation offers the following reason:
By changing the speed limit on the Garden State Parkway and other NJ highways people will agree to travel further for a job which will lower unemployment rates.
As hundreds sign it they're adding more reasons of their own.
"We're speeding either way so you might as well make it legal."
"The faster you go the less accidents happen."
"I feel it will ease the traffic flow."
"Roads are wide and safe and it can easy [sic] take another 10 mph. Pure logic."
Let me take those in order.
Just because people are already doing something doesn't necessarily mean it should be made legal. People are already driving through stop signs, already walking into traffic without looking, etc..
Yes, there can be some truth to the idea that the faster you go the fewer accidents happen. That's because it can bring about less disparity in the range of speeds on the highway and less lane changing trying to get around slower drivers. I think it could no doubt ease the traffic flow, except when there is a fatal accident. Fatal accidents take far longer to reopen a road because of the more intense investigation, and the faster speed at which one crashes the more likely the crash is to be fatal.
The roads are wide and safe is a matter of location. There are stretches of the GSP where this is certainly true and others where it is less so. One example, the lanes between exit 135 and the Turnpike entrance are much more narrow than in other spots.
I'm one of the few people who feels raising the speed limit is not a sound idea. Traffic deaths have already increased in New Jersey in recent years. While I won't blame that on speeding, the point is any crash caused by whatever reason is more likely to become fatal the faster you go. People argued when we went to 65 from 55 that people were already doing 65 and therefore wouldn't go higher and the speed limits wouldn't be abused. If that were true, then why are we now making the argument everyone is going 75 and if the speed limit were raised to 75 people won't go higher and the speed limits won't be abused?
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