Reducing speed limit could kill someone, NJ senator says

O’Scanlon said not one traffic engineer would believe this legislation is a good idea. Speed limits are set using scientific data, and not on a whim, he said.

“Speed limits are set at the 85th-percentile speed, which is the speed at or below which 85 percent of drivers are traveling on a given road,” O’Scanlon said. “If you arbitrarily lower them, you have the potential to cause more harm and more accidents because motorists traveling at the speed they believe to be safe could come into contact with motorists attempting to obey an arbitrarily low speed.”

O’Scanlon said the 85th-percentile method achieves the greatest amount of compliance, the greatest amount of safety, the smoothest and safest traffic flow, and the least amount of punishment.

The speed limit reduction, O’Scanlon said, could increase the likelihood that the area becomes a speed trap where cops nab countless drivers for driving too fast.