Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I Can't Drive 55

The other day I was driving northbound on the Garden State Parkway around mile marker 90. I was in the center lane going around 60mph which was 5 miles over the speed limit as I was in that designated area which earlier this year dropped the speed limit from 65 to 55. I couldn’t help but notice that vehicles of all kinds were passing me like I was standing still so I picked up my pace and when I got to around 65 I was finally in the flow of traffic. Of course there were still cars whizzing by me doing well over 70 but I stayed around 65 and even a bit higher for the remaining time I was in the “slow down zone” and fit in with most of the others on the road.

I guess I’m perplexed at the entire issue of speed limits, especially on highways like the Parkway. I’ve basically been told that New Jersey State Police will give you pretty much a 10 miles-per-hour buffer when road conditions are normal. That would mean 75 for most of the Parkway and even 65 in the area between mileposts 80 and 100 which reduced the speed limit because of the high amount of serious accidents. However if we can get away with 65 or even higher most of the time what good does it really do? A friend of mine in law enforcement said it comes down to the fact that there will be a large portion of drivers who will stick to the speed limit and anytime you can get some to cooperate that’s a positive. Even if only 25% of the cars on the road between mileposts 80-100 were traveling at 55mph it would be worth the change that was made.

I guess I would have to agree but part of me says if most of the drivers are going to do 65 why not make that the limit but enforce it at 65….not 75. Those that drive well over the limit with regularity will do so until they finally get caught and are given a ticket. I’m sure there are valid reasons but I do know this. If you do 55 on the Parkway between mileposts 80 and 100 you’ll get stares from other drivers as they pass you by.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Look at Route 9 in Beachwood/Bayville area. The speed limit is 35. But who RELLY obeys that when traffic is moving? Every time I do 35 on that road, I find myself being tailgated and even honked at.