NJ town now forcing speeders to appear in court for tickets
If you get a speeding ticket while driving through Allentown be warned: You'll be back.
The village on the western edge of Monmouth County is often used as a shortcut to get to Route 195 by trucks and cars that don't abide by the posted 25 and 30 mph speed limits.
The fed-up Borough Council has implemented the first of its new “speed enforcement zone” on Main Street (County Route 524) that will require a court appearance which comes with additional fines above the speeding violation.
Mayor Thomas Fritts said Allentown has been redesignated from a borough to a historical village center after spending grant money that encourages walking though its retail and historical area in the center of town.
"It really comes down to protecting the community, not only our children who are in town every day, but our families, our elderly who go to the local pharmacy and eateries, visitors who are here for tours or simply to enjoy the parks and the little boutique shops and eateries that we have," Fritts told New Jersey 101.5.
The congestion from traffic, speeding or otherwise, has gotten worse over time from industrial development on the fringes of the village and from new residential areas on the border.
There's also a move to get Allentown undesignated from allowing 2-ton trucks. The designation must be renewed yearly by the Borough Council.
Not about the money
The zones are "overwhelmingly supported" by both residents and those who live on the fringes of Allentown, according to Fritts. He said that residents of neighboring Upper Freehold who send their children to schools in Allentown understand the need to cut down on speeding.
Fritts acknowledges there is some opposition to the zones from those who see the plan as a revenue generator, a claim the mayor denies.
"If it was about making money we wouldn't be promoting it anywhere and everywhere. That's not the goal." Fritts said. "It's not a big driver in additional court revenues for us. The idea is to let people know that you shouldn't speed here so that when you do you don't get pulled over and get a ticket. It's more about protecting our residents and visitors than it is about generating money,.
MidJersey.news was the first to report on the speed enforcement zones.