Ocean City, NJ, Mayor Favors Lowering City Speed Limit to 20 MPH
Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian favors reducing the speed limit city-wide from 25 MPH to 20.
The topic came up Saturday during a community meeting at the Ocean City Yacht Club, according to OCNJDaily.com.
When residents complained about people exceeding the speed limit, which is 25 MPH in most of the city, the Mayor said reducing the speed limit to 20 MPH could reduce the speeding problem.
The proliferation of electronic bikes or e-bikes in South Jersey shore towns has brought a new wrinkle to the speeding problem. Certain e-bikes are capable of going 35 MPH or faster and some Ocean City residents think it's only a matter of time until one of these fast-moving e-bikes causes an accident.
In 2019, Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation regulating the use of low-speed e-bikes and motorized scooters in New Jersey.
As of May 14, 2019, a brand new vehicle class was added to Title 39: “Low-speed electric bicycle.” This new vehicle is described as “a two or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts, whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by a motor, while operated by a person weighing 170 pounds, is less than 20 miles per hour.”
An operator of a low-speed electric bicycle or motorized scooter is not required to register the scooter or e-bike, furnish proof of insurance, or have a driver’s license.
Before this new law was signed, e-bikes were classified as motorized bicycles (mopeds) and required registration with the MVC. However, the MVC system would not allow registration because the law was written for gas-powered vehicles. That left e-bikes in a legal gray area.
OCNJDaily.com reports that Mayor Gillian expressed some frustration with this new state law, saying that the law restricts local authorities to police people who are riding the e-bikes in a dangerous manner.
Mayor Gillian said that Ocean City Police Chief Jay Prettyman is in favor of making “all roads in Ocean City 20 miles an hour.”
In order to make a change in the city's speed limit, the Ocean City city council would have to approve the lower speed limit.
In September, the Cape May City Council voted to reduce the speed limit to 20 MPH throughout town.