Students cheer Sen. Diane Allen push for 24/7 school-zone speed limits in N.J.

New Jersey state Sen. Diane Allen greets students at Burlington City High School Monday where she called for a round-the-clock speed limit of 25 mph in school zones. She named her bill

New Jersey state Sen. Diane Allen greets students at Burlington City High School Monday where she called for a round-the-clock speed limit of 25 mph in school zones. She named her bill "Atwan's Law" in honor of a student who was killed by a passing car while walking near the school. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Legislation proposed by a New Jersey lawmaker would give towns the authority to lower speed limits in school zones.

A 25-mph speed limit near schools would help keep pedestrians safe, said Sen. Diane Allen.

“Right now, it’s simply a matter of people are supposed to slow down but they don’t always during school hours,” said Allen, R-Burlington. “We want to make sure it’s always … 25 saves lives. It is simple, but it works. We know it works. We’ve seen it work in other places.”

Allen also wants to triple the fines for speeding in school zones.

“It’s not intended to really punish drivers or even be a revenue collector. It’s meant to make people be aware, boy you better not do that again, and tell your friends and your family because they don’t want to pay that enormous amount of money either,” she said. “We’re going to make sure that people get the message.”

Burlington City High School students cheered Allen at the school Monday where she stopped to call for the swift passage of the legislation.

Jessica Lamont, a junior at the high school, started the campaign for speed restrictions in memory of a classmate who was struck and killed by a car while walking near the school in May.

“I cross the street every day to come here, to go to my father’s house, to go to my friend’s house, I cross it every day, and I don’t want to die on this road,” she said. “So if they slow down, they have time to stop while I’m crossing the street.”

Antwan Timbers Sr. said Monday that he’s overwhelmed that “Antwan’s Law” was named in honor of his son.

“To have something in his honor and to build a legacy going forward, I mean this is something that will be remembered to years to come,” he said. “It brings awareness to the community. It brings awareness to the drivers. It helps prevent other fatalities that could happen.”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.