By Katrina Grant
Noni Bookbinder Bell has lived In Shamong for the past 17 years. She lives on McKendimen Road, and through the years, with technological advances, in addition to speeding, has seen a few bad accidents. She worries that there will be more fatal ones.
“The road starts down by Shawnee High School where it is Bear Head Road and continues up to Tuckerton,” Bell said. “A couple blocks up is 206. The speed limit in the Shamong portion is 25 mph.”
Bell, who studied urban planning and land use law in college and sits on the Shamong Township Joint Land Use Board, feels that the road is too wide and straight and welcomes motorists to speed. Previous to sitting on the Joint Land Use Board, Bell sat on the Shamong Township Zoning Board.
“In my opinion the road is too wide and straight,” Bell said. “They always told us in college that a road that wide and straight is conducive for speeding. I think out here they made it like that because of the limited parking space.”
Bell feels that motorists speeding, coupled with distractions, such as talking and texting on cell phones, will prove fatal for someone driving or walking.
“You can always tell when the kids get out of school around 2 or 3. They come racing down the road, and they’re not even the worst ones,” Bell said. “I would say the bus drivers are the worst.”
Through the years, Bell said that there have been some fatal accidents, one as recent as last month. Because so many people use the road to ride bikes, walk their pets or for exercise, she hopes that people will slow down so that there will not be another fatality.
Bell said she has done research, and, despite rising insurance costs and points put on someone’s license for speeding, according to several websites speeding is the main cause of fatal accidents in New Jersey.
In an effort to deal with the problem, the township did put a speed bump on the road. However, Bell said that residents complained about it and the township will not put in additional ones. It does, however, put radar signs on the road. They slow drivers down when they are up.
“I don’t want them to put another speed bump up,” Bell said. “Ultimately, I don’t think anything really deters people. I would like someone to educate people more on speeding and distractions. Editorially, I hope this brings it to someone’s attention so people will slow down.”