Quick: What's the biggest problem on New Jersey's highways? (And no, we're not talking about tolls.)
Is it people driving too slow?
Or people driving too fast?
Yes, we know. Many of you think slower drivers are the problem.
But, folks - that's nonsense.
Dawdling doesn't kill. Speed kills. Speed shortens the available reaction time to avoid any kind of potential problem. Speed increases force. Add New Jersey's drivers' legendary aggression and attitude to the physics at work on the highway and ... well, the problem should be clear.
Actually, we're over-complicating this. The biggest problem on New Jersey's highways is apparently Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon, R-Monmouth.
O'Scanlon was a co-sponsor and chief proponent of the recently signed - and misguided - law increasing the penalties on motorists in New Jersey who fail to keep right.
And now the assemblyman wants to raise speed limits on the state's major highways.
Of course, O'Scanlon told The Star-Ledger that such decisions should be up to engineers, not politicians. But he said those experts would likely conclude that a 70-mph to 75-mph speed limit would be safe on the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike.
"We should never have the situation where observance of a given traffic law makes you a serious hazard to yourself and others," O'Scanlon told the Newark paper. "But that's what's currently happening. Almost every section of the parkway, where the posted limit is 55 miles per hour, is actually designed to safely handle speed limits of 65 to 75 miles per hour. And these are the speeds 80 to 90 percent of motorists are driving anyway. That is the case around the world, people naturally drive at reasonably, safe and prudent speeds."
We think Assemblyman O'Scanlon simply likes to drive fast. And we would bet that he can't produce one police officer, state trooper or EMT who would agree that people should be able to drive faster in New Jersey.
Earlier this month, speaking about the bill to increase fines for slower drivers who don't keep right, he said: "It's extremely frustrating to be stuck behind someone who is not practicing proper lane discipline, keeping to the right,"
Frustrating is it? Aww ...
Look, we understand that people who set themselves up in the lefthand lane and cruise at or below the speed limit can be annoying. But the only thing that makes them dangerous are the O'Scanlons who think they have a God-given right to drive aggressively.
Just slow down, assemblyman, and enjoy the view. You'll get where you are going soon enough.