Your streets are about to get safer. At a press conference on Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation to lower the speed limit. As of November 7, unless otherwise posted, the new default speed limit for all city streets will be 25 miles per hour, down from 30 miles per hour, the level for more than 50 years.
Speeding is the leading cause of fatal traffic crashes, and the reduction of the speed limit can make a difference, Mayor de Blasio told gathered members of the administration, elected officials and advocates, including members of the Families for Safe Streets, the organization comprised of loved ones of victims of traffic violence.
What difference can 5 miles per hour make? The faster a vehicle travels, the more time a driver requires to prevent a collision. Slower speeds not only help prevent crashes, but also improve odds of survival if a collision occurs: A pedestrian who is struck by a vehicle traveling 25 miles per hour is half as likely to be killed than if struck by a vehicle traveling 30 miles per hour, according to the New York City Department of Transportation.
Note that speed limits on highways will remain at their current levels.
Lowering the speed limit is part of Vision Zero, the de Blasio Administration’s plan to eliminate deaths and serious injuries due to traffic violence. Other key measures in the Vision Zero Action Plan include installation of speed cameras, improved infrastructure and street design, enforcement of violations and education about street safety.
Read more about Vision Zero here.