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Governor signs legislation lowering speed limit in NYC

ALBANY – A bill authorizing New York City to lower its speed limits from 30 to 25 miles per hour was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The legislation seeks to lower the number of vehicle and pedestrian accidents in New York City and supports the State’s ongoing effort to make roadways safer.

“We have seen too many injuries and deaths as a result of traffic accidents, and this legislation will be yet another step in our efforts to make New York’s streets safer for all,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York City is America’s largest and most energetic city, and its roadways must also be the safest. I commend Mayor de Blasio, Senate Majority Co-Leader Klein and Assemblyman O’Donnell for their hard work on this legislation.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “Speeding is a citywide problem, and lowering the speed limit is a citywide solution. This is another vital step toward making New York City streets safer for every family. Our Vision Zero initiative¹s mission is to save lives, and that precisely what this legislation accomplishes. We are thankful to have a strong partner in Governor Cuomo, and look forward to working with our state partners as we move to implement this vital law."

The law (A10144/S7892) allows New York City to lower its default speed limit, which is the speed at which drivers should operate their vehicle in areas where the speed limit is not posted within the City.

Approximately 4,000 people in New York City are seriously injured and more than 250 are killed each year in traffic crashes, and traffic fatalities have risen 15% in the City over the past few years. Pedestrians in New York are killed at higher rate than the national average, and being struck by a vehicle is the leading cause of injury-related death for children under 14 and the second leading cause for seniors. In New York State, pedestrian deaths comprise 52 percent of all traffic fatalities.

The legislation complements a law signed in June that authorizes up to 69 school zone speed cameras in Suffolk, 56 in Nassau and 120 more in New York City on top of the 20 in place. Installing speed cameras in school zones has also shown to be an effective tool to reducing drivers’ speed, and thus making the road safer. New York City caught 900 drivers speeding around schools in the first two weeks using just six cameras, ultimately holding those responsible for putting others’ lives at risk.