Long Islanders choosing to drive to New York City instead of riding the Long Island Rail Road will soon have to obey a new speed limit when navigating NYC’s cluttered and busy streets.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Saturday authorizing New York City to lower its speed limit from 30 to 25 miles per hour where the speed limit is not posted in the city.
The bill has the support of Mayor Bill de Blasio, who earlier this year released a report dubbed, “Vision Zero,” which called for traffic safety initiatives to reduce pedestrian and driver fatalities.
More than 250 people are killed and as many as 4,000 are injured in traffic crashes on city streets each year, officials said.
“Speeding is a citywide problem, and lowering the speed limit is a citywide solution,” de Blasio said in a statement. “This is another vital step toward making New York City streets safer for every family. Our Vision Zero initiative’s mission is to save lives, and that precisely what this legislation accomplishes.”
Lawmakers in the state Senate and Assembly cited studies that showed how lowering the speed limit by 5 mph can reduce fatalities. Lawmakers claimed that if the speed limit were lowered to 25 mph, the chance of an accident resulting in death drops to 1 in 10, from 1 to 5 at 30 mph.
“At 25 mph, stopping distance is improved by 45 feet…which will allow many crashes to be avoided altogether,” the bill states.
“We will implement the speed limit reduction in a smart and thoughtful manner as the City continues to roll out our Vision Zero efforts,” said NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.
This bill comes two months after Cuomo signed a bill that authorizes 69 speed cameras in Suffolk County, 56 in Nassau County and 120 more in New York City in school zones.