Governor Cuomo signed a bill into law today mandating that the citywide speed limit be set at 25 mph. Previously, the limit was set at 30 mph; an Albany legislator proposed a lower speed limit earlier this year in hopes of cutting down on pedestrian deaths.
The bill, which was signed at the Jacob Javits Center this morning and goes into effect in three months, is part of Mayor de Blasio's Vision Zero initiative, which aims to eliminate pedestrian deaths within the decade. It was proposed by State Senator Jeff Klein in June, who previously proposed a bill aimed at installing more speed cameras around the city; Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell co-sponsored the bill.
— Ydanis Rodriguez (@ydanis) August 9, 2014
According to officials, a pedestrian struck by a driver going 30 mph has a one in five chance of being killed, while a pedestrian struck by a driver going 25 mph has only a one in 10 chance of being killed. "Currently, more than half of those killed in traffic in New York City are people walking or riding their bikes. These deaths are preventable, and we expect that the shift to 25 mph will cut the annual number of pedestrian deaths in half." Paul Steely White, Executive Director of advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, said in a statement today. "Even when crashes can't be avoided, they're much less likely to be fatal at 25 mph."