A New Jersey lawmaker wants to control speed limits near parks where children play in response to a tragedy in Keansburg.    

Park (Wathiq Khuzaie, Getty Images)

On April 22, 2014, 11-year-old Drew Keough was struck and killed by a car while crossing the street after playing basketball in a Keansburg park. His untimely death stunned the community and hundreds of people gathered for a candlelight vigil the following day.

At the urging of Drew's family and others, state Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-Middletown) drafted a bill in Drew's name with the goal of preventing future tragedies.

"My bill allows municipalities to set speed limits near parks where kids play at 15 miles per hour, double the fines and to make the areas around these parks where our kids play much safer," Kyrillos said.

Fines would range from $100 to $400.

The legislation would allow counties and municipalities to reduce the speed limit to 15 mph, at certain times, on streets passing through and adjacent to certain parks. The bill is permissive and does not require towns to enact the lower speed limits.

"For logistical reasons, not every park in every part of New Jersey can lower the limit down to 15 miles per hour," Kyrillos said.

Drew's family hopes that if the bill becomes law it will save lives in the future.

"Our family has been devastated by this loss," said Drew's uncle, Joseph Pezzano, a longtime Keansburg police officer, in a statement on behalf of the family in support of the bill. "Drew was a bright, vibrant 11-year-old that made kids and adults feel better about themselves, on a daily basis. He was small in stature, but larger than life."

The Senate Transportation Committee approved the bill on Oct. 9.  State Sen. Nick Sacco (D-North Bergen) is co-sponsoring the measure.