Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law on August 9 mandating that the citywide speed limit be lowered to 25 mph. The previous speed limit was 30 mph but community activists and Albany legislation continued to propose lowering the limit to reduce pedestrian fatalities.
The bill is part of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative, which aims to eliminate pedestrian deaths around the city within a decade.
According to officials, a pedestrian who is struck by a vehicle going 30 mph has a one in five chance of being killed, while a pedestrian struck by a driver traveling at 25 mph has 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.”