Electric Vehicles, Speed Limit Investigated

This charging station is located at the BP on Route 88. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  BRICK – Several residents requested that a speed limit study be conducted along Princeton Avenue, where the current speed limit is 40 mph.

  After County Engineer John Ernst conducted two speed surveys on the county road, he recommended that the speed on Princeton Avenue, east of Beaver Dam Road, be reduced to 25 mph, but the data he collected does not support a reduction in speed west of Beaver Dam Road.

  “The Council’s Public Safety Committee is recommending lowering the speed limit,” said Council Vice President Art Halloran during a recent Township Council meeting.

  Brick’s Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit has reviewed and approved the plan, as did the governing body, who unanimously passed the ordinance on its first reading.

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  The county will adopt a concurring County resolution and will install and maintain the required signage to indicate the new speed limit.

  In other news, during public comment, resident Richie Campbell said that the township should ban all internal combustion engines – such as Ford SUVs that are currently utilized by the police department – and switch over to more environmentally friendly electric vehicles such as Tesla.

  Campbell said that Teslas are safer and have fewer rollover accidents than the Fords, and they would perform better for the police when in a pursuit with a reckless driver.

  Mayor John G. Ducey said a couple of months ago the administration started a defueling study when he requested that township department heads give their thoughts or ideas on electric vehicles.

  “I’d like to encourage private residents and private businesses towards the use of electric vehicles and towards providing charging stations,” he said.

  Additionally, the administration is investigating the use of electric vehicles for township vehicles.

  Other towns have electric vehicles, so the mayor said that the town will be learning about how that has impacted maintenance, energy costs, and efficiency.

  “We have also applied for grants for the purchase of electric vehicles,” he said.

  According to Car and Driver, the pros of electric vehicles include they are better for the environment, they are quieter than gas vehicles, and electricity is a renewable resource.

  Also, electric cars require less expensive and less frequent maintenance, and there are tax credits available for owners of electric cars; for example, there is no sales tax.

This Tesla Model Y is being used as a police cruiser by the Logan Police Department in Ohio. (Photo courtesy Logan Police)

  The cons of electric vehicles is they have a shorter range than gas powered cars, and recharging the battery takes time.

  Also, electric cars are usually more expensive than gas-powered cars, it can be difficult to find a charging station, and there aren’t as many model options.

  Many police departments across the country have used electric vehicles for parking enforcement or administrative use, but very few are using fully-electric vehicles for patrol duty, mostly because of range concerns.

  All-electric vehicles (AEVs) have ranges of 80 to 100 miles, while some luxury models have ranges up to 250 miles. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a full day to recharge the battery, depending on the type of charger and battery.

  After the meeting, Brick Police Chief James Riccio said he’s never heard that Teslas are safer. “We will be doing research and making a recommendation,” he added.

  The next council meeting will be on Wednesday June 9 at 7 p.m.