Legislation proposed by Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) and Senator Nicholas Sacco (D-Bergen and Hudson), Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, would lower speed limits to 15 mph on roads adjacent to or passing through parks when they are open or when children are present. Violators would face fines of between $100 and $400, double the current amount.
Dubbed “Drews Law,” the legislation is named Drew Keough-Cerreta, the 11 year-old Keansburg boy killed last April by a vehicle that was apparently traveling at the 25 mph speed limit.
“The Keansburg community is still reeling from this terrible loss,” said Kyrillos . We must make sure the roadways around parks give our children the utmost safety. The time to do that is now. Slowing traffic is a small price to pay and I thank members of Drew’s family and others for their input on this important measure.”
Joseph W. Pezzano, Drew’s uncle and a 29 year veteran of the Keansburg Police Department, was on duty and answered the call when his nephew was struck.
In a statement issued in support of the legislation, Pezzano said,
On my arrival I was horrified to find that my nephew, Drew Keough Cerreta had been struck by a vehicle and had little opportunity to survive due to his extensive injuries and blood loss. Drew was transported to a local hospital and was declared dead on arrival. Nothing in my 29 years of Police fully prepared me for what I saw that day.
It appeared that Drew was dragged underneath the vehicle and as a result, suffered extensive injuries that he was unable to survive from. Drew prior to the accident was playing at Forest Park in Keansburg. The Park is located in residential zone, and the posted speed limit is 25mphs. The driver that struck him appeared to have been travelling the speed limit, the driver just was unable to stop in time.
Our family has been devastated by this loss. 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. He was a curious 11 Year old that asked so many though provoking questions, it was amazing to see how his brain worked. I was advised by numerous Coaches of Drew that he always tried to make friends, if he saw a kid was playing alone, he would approach him and entice him to play with his group. He united kids and people alike.
Pezzano said that speed plays a role in every accident and that his family supports the legislation so that Drew’s death will no be in vain, but rather will serve as an opportunity to save future lives.