On appeal from the Bergen County Court.
Goldmann, Kilkenny and Lewis. The opinion of the court was delivered by Goldmann, S.j.a.d.
[92 NJSuper Page 349] Defendant was convicted in the Bergen County District Court for violating N.J.S.A. 27:23-29 and Regulation 2(C) of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (Authority), in that he drove at 60 M.P.H. on the Turnpike where posted signs read "Construction Area -- Speed Limit 45 Miles Per Hour." He appealed to the Bergen County Court where, after a trial de novo, the judge found
him guilty as charged and imposed a fine of $30 plus $5 costs and revoked his driver's license for 30 days. The sentence was stayed pending the outcome of defendant's appeal to this court. The matter is presented to us on an agreed statement in lieu of record, pursuant to R.R. 1:6-2.
Regulation 2(C), part of the Authority's "Regulations Relating to the Control of Traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike," provides:
"Where appropriate signs prescribing a lesser speed are posted or erected by a person or persons authorized by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to post or erect such signs, no vehicle within the area or zone or section where such signs are posted or erected shall be operated in excess of the speed prescribed by said signs. All vehicles consistent with the requirements of this Section shall be operated at an appropriate reduced speed when specific hazards exist with respect to traffic, road, weather or other conditions."
Defendant launches a double attack upon this regulation, arguing that (1) the Authority may not constitutionally delegate to others its power to designate speed limits, and (2) assuming a lawful delegation, the rule does not prescribe adequate standards governing the exercise of the power thus delegated.
N.J.S.A. 27:23-5, containing the Legislature's general grant of powers to the Authority, authorizes the Authority to "establish rules and regulations for the use of any [Turnpike] project" (subsection (h)) and to "do all acts and things necessary and convenient to carry out the powers expressly granted" in the New Jersey Turnpike Authority Act, L. 1948, c. 454, N.J.S.A. 27:23-1 et seq. (subsection (o)).
N.J.S.A. 27:23-19 directs that the act, being necessary for the welfare of the State and its inhabitants, shall be liberally construed to effect its purposes.
N.J.S.A. 27:23-29 provides that all persons operating vehicles upon any Turnpike project must at all times comply with any and all regulations adopted by the Authority "to control traffic and prohibit acts hazardous in their nature or tending to impede or block the normal and reasonable flow of
traffic." However, prior to adopting any regulation the Authority "shall investigate and consider the need for and desirability of such regulation for the safety of persons and property, * * * and the contribution which any such regulation would make toward the efficient and safe handling of traffic and use of such turnpike project, and shall determine that such regulation is necessary or desirable to accomplish such purposes or one or more of them, * * *."
Pursuant to the powers so delegated to it, the Authority adopted Regulation 2, among others. Parts (A) and (B) respectively establish 50 and 60 M.P.H. speed limits, and part (C), quoted above, authorizes the posting of ...