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NYC Lowers Speed Limits on Major Streets

speed limit sign

A pedestrian who is struck by a vehicle traveling at 30 MPH is twice as likely to be killed as a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 MPH, while a pedestrian has a 50% chance of dying when hit by a vehicle traveling at 35 MPH compared to a 20% chance when the vehicle is traveling at 30 MPH. Each mile per hour increase in speed causes a nearly 3% increase in fatalities. These facts demonstrate that slower speeds save lives.

For reasons like these, speed limits in New York will be reduced on 45 miles of major streets with some of the highest crash rates. Street locations, mileage, and speed limit changes are:

Bronx

  • Pelham Parkway from White Plains Road to Stillwell Avenue, 1.6 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH)
  • Throggs Neck Expressway Service Road N/S from Longstreet Avenue to Sampson Avenue/Ellsworth Avenue, 1.5 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH)
  • Jerome Avenue from Bainbridge Avenue to East 233rd Street, 0.6 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH)

Queens

  • Woodhaven Boulevard from Queens Boulevard to Rockaway Boulevard, 4.3 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH)
  • Cross Bay Boulevard from Rockaway Boulevard to the Cross Bay North Boulevard Bridge, 2.5 miles (30/40 MPH to 25/35 MPH)
  • Van Wyck Service Road E/W from 135th Avenue to Queens Boulevard, 3.1 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH)
  • Astoria Boulevard from 111th Street to 8th Street, 3.9 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH)
  • South Conduit Avenue from Sutter Ave to Sunrise Highway, 5.3 miles (35 MPH to 30 MPH)
  • North Conduit Avenue from Sutter Ave to Sunrise Highway, 6.6 miles (35 MPH to 30 MPH)

Brooklyn

  • Conduit Boulevard from Atlantic Avenue to Sutter Ave, 1.9 miles (35 MPH to 30 MPH)

Staten Island

  • Hylan Boulevard from Bay Street to Massachusetts Street, 13.5 miles (30/35/40 MPH to 30 MPH)

With speeding being the leading cause of traffic fatalities, the city aims to enhance pedestrian and cyclist safety by cracking down on drivers who speed and fail to yield, as well as lower the speed limits on the city’s most crash-prone corridors. In addition, officials are looking to expand the hours of operation for speed cameras throughout NYC as well as implement 2,000 active cameras by the end of 2021.

How effective are these speed cameras? Well, according to the Department of Transportation’s recent speed report:

  • Speeding has been reduced on average by over 70% at locations where speed cameras are installed.
  • Injuries are down 17% at these same locations.
  • Two-thirds of vehicle owners who received a notice of liability in 2019 did not receive another within the calendar year.

All these street safety efforts are part of New York City’s Vision Zero, a citywide initiative focused on reducing preventable crashes through engineering enforcement, and education. Accordingly, the NYPD will work closely with city officials to hold dangerous drivers accountable for their dangerous actions in the hopes of saving lives and making the city safer.

How Will These Changes Be Enforced?

Imposing stricter safety measures on the streets of New York is a start, but the true impact of these efforts lies in enforcement. That’s why the NYPD will step up enforcement efforts to reduce traffic injuries by focusing on drivers who speed and fail to yield to pedestrians and cyclists. Police officers will also target speeders on high-crash highways and vehicles that obstruct bike lanes.

Crash Victims Rights & Safety Act

State Senator Brad Hoylman introduced the Crash Victims Rights & Safety Act to allow New York City to further reduce traffic speed, expand the speed safety camera program to 24/7 operation, and support families of crash victims. To help accomplish these objectives, the Act:

  • Includes a bill of rights for traffic crash victims
  • Lowers the blood alcohol concentration limit
  • Includes DMV pre-licensing courses

What This Means for You

As you can see, the City of New York is taking serious measures to reduce and eliminate traffic injuries and fatalities. These incidents are preventable in most cases, which is why you can expect to see stronger enforcement efforts and stricter traffic laws. Don’t make the mistake of thinking these initiatives won’t impact you, because chances are, your chances of getting pulled over could significantly increase as a result of the City’s traffic safety efforts to protect pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike.

These efforts will impact you in various ways, whether you’re a driver, pedestrian, or cyclist in NYC. As such, you should exercise heightened caution while driving, especially amid these recent changes to the speed limits on major streets in the City. However, if you got unlucky on the roads, we can fight your traffic ticket.

Our attorney is a former traffic court judge, so you can rest assured we have the experience and insights needed to help you resolve your ticket and move forward with minimal legal consequences. To learn how we can help you out, schedule a consultation online or at (212) 235-1525!

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