A new study conducted in all five boroughs determined that 39% of drivers observed were traveling in excess of the 30 mph speed limit, some with fatal speeds of 60 mph and higher in school zones and other high-traffic pedestrian areas. Transportation Alternatives researchers recorded motorist speeds at 13 locations in 2008; the spots were chosen based on community complaints, as well as crash records compiled on Crashstat.

Using automated speed cameras and radar guns identical to those used by police, the researchers measured the speeds of more than 15,000 motorists. What they found won't surprise you: People drive like psychopaths in this town.

  • In Manhattan, 70% of drivers on East Houston Street speed through a school zone.
  • In the Bronx, 32% of drivers on Webster Avenue speed past a school as fast as 66 mph.
  • In Queens, 32% of drivers on Northern Boulevard speed through a busy commercial area, past a school and police station.
  • In Brooklyn, 88% of drivers on Rogers Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens speed, with 25% exceeding 40 mph.
  • On Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island’s most dangerous street, 39% of drivers exceed the speed limit, reaching fatal speeds over 60 mph.

According to the report [PDF], for every additional mile per hour driven over the 30 mph speed limit, the likelihood of a crash becoming fatal increases exponentially. At a speed of 30 mph, 40% of pedestrians who are struck will be killed, but at 40 mph, the likelihood of a fatal crash jumps to 70%. So stop driving like a bunch of maniacs, you guys!


At a press conference to announce the findings, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer called for the installation of speeding enforcement cameras, NYPD monitoring of speeding levels and safer street designs to slow cars down. Stringer told reporters, "Pedestrian safety has always been a major concern for me and my office, but the recent traffic death of a former intern in my office has brought the issue home in a very personal way." That would 26-year-old Marilyn Feng, who was fatally run over near Battery Park last week by a drunk driver from New Jersey. And Streetsblog wonders what role speeding played in yesterday's gruesome dragging death.