Authorizes the city of New York to establish speed limits throughout the city at not less than twenty-five miles per hour and not less than twenty miles per hour on or along certain designated highways.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law and the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to reducing the speed limit in the city of New York to twenty miles per hour
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This bill would protect pedestrians by reducing the speed limit in New York City to twenty miles per hour.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section one of the bill would amend the administrative code of the city of New York, subdivision a of section 19-177, which sets the official speed limit for a vehicle in the city of New York. Under current law, the official speed limit is thirty miles per hour. This bill would reduce the official speed limit to twenty miles per hour except where the City Council determines a different speed limit is appropriate and an official sign indicates that a different speed limit is in effect.
In New York City in 2013, nearly as many people died in traffic accidents as were murdered. The speed at which a motorist is driving correlates strongly with the likelihood that an accident with a pedestrian will be fatal. In fact, at speeds of twenty miles per hour, the likelihood that a pedestrian hit by a motorist will die is only five percent, but at just thirty miles per hour that likelihood jumps to forty five percent. Thus, by reducing the speed limit by ten miles per hour, and by empowering the City Council to make additional speed limit changes as it deems appropriate, this bill would have a significant effect on pedestrian safety.
Early numbers from this year suggest that there is a critical need for this legislation. In the first two weeks of 2014 there have been seven pedestrian fatalities in NYC from traffic accidents involving motor vehicles. On one day alone, on Manhattan's Upper West Side, there were two such fatalities - one child and one senior citizen, both crossing streets in crosswalks. This bill, by reducing the speed Limit on city streets, will protect all of New York City's pedestrians.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6496--A IN SENATE January 29, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sens. DILAN, DIAZ, HOYLMAN, MONTGOMERY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Cities -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law and the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to reducing the speed limit in the city of New York to twenty miles per hour THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph 26 of subdivision (a) of section 1642 of the vehicle and traffic law is renumbered paragraph 27 and a new paragraph 26 is added to read as follows: 26. WITH RESPECT TO HIGHWAYS (WHICH TERM FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL INCLUDE PRIVATE ROADS OPEN TO PUBLIC MOTOR VEHICLE TRAF- FIC) IN SUCH CITY, OTHER THAN STATE HIGHWAYS MAINTAINED BY THE STATE ON WHICH THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SHALL HAVE ESTABLISHED HIGHER OR LOWER SPEED LIMITS THAN THE STATUTORY FIFTY-FIVE MILES PER HOUR SPEED LIMIT AS PROVIDED IN SECTION SIXTEEN HUNDRED TWENTY OF THIS TITLE, OR ON WHICH THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SHALL HAVE DESIGNATED THAT SUCH CITY SHALL NOT ESTABLISH ANY MAXIMUM SPEED LIMIT AS PROVIDED IN SECTION SIXTEEN HUNDRED TWENTY-FOUR OF THIS TITLE, SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATIONS IMPOSED BY SECTION SIXTEEN HUNDRED EIGHTY-FOUR OF THIS TITLE, ESTABLISH MAXIMUM SPEED LIMITS AT WHICH VEHICLES MAY PROCEED WITHIN SUCH CITY OR WITHIN DESIGNATED AREAS OF SUCH CITY HIGHER OR LOWER THAN THE FIFTY-FIVE MILES PER HOUR MAXIMUM STATUTORY LIMIT. NO SUCH SPEED LIMIT APPLICABLE THROUGHOUT SUCH CITY OR WITHIN DESIGNATED AREAS OF SUCH CITY SHALL BE ESTABLISHED AT LESS THAN TWENTY MILES PER HOUR. S 2. Paragraph 27 of subdivision (a) of section 1642 of the vehicle and traffic law, as added by chapter 499 of the laws of 1999 and as renumbered by section one of this act, is amended to read as follows: 27. (a) Establishment of maximum speed limits below
[twenty-five]TWENTY miles per hour at which motor vehicles may proceed on or along designated highways within such city for the explicit purpose of imple- menting traffic calming measures as such term is defined herein;EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13595-05-4 S. 6496--A 2
provided, however, that no speed limit shall be set below fifteen miles per hour nor shall such speed limit be established where the traffic calming measure to be implemented consists solely of a traffic control sign. Establishment of such a speed limit shall, where applicable, be in compliance with the provisions of sections sixteen hundred twenty- four and sixteen hundred eighty-four of this chapter. Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to alter or affect the establishment of school speed limits pursuant to the provisions of section sixteen hundred forty-three of this article. For the purposes of this paragraph, "traf- fic calming measures" shall mean any physical engineering measure or measures that reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behavior and improve conditions for non-motorized street users such as pedestrians and bicyclists. (b) Any city establishing maximum speed limits below
[twenty-five]TWENTY miles per hour pursuant to clause (i) of this subparagraph shall submit a report to the governor, the temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the assembly on or before March first, two thousand [two]FIFTEEN AND BIANNUALLY THEREAFTER on the results of using traffic calming measures and speed limits lower than [twenty-five]TWENTY miles per hour as authorized by this paragraph. Such report shall include, but not be limited to the following: (i) a description of the designated highways where traffic calming measures and a lower speed limit were established and (ii) a description of the specific traffic calming measures used and the maximum speed limit established. S 3. Subdivision a of section 19-177 of the administrative code of the city of New York, as added by local law number 6 of the city of New York for the year 1996, is amended to read as follows: a. The official speed limit for a vehicle in the city of New York shall be [thirty]TWENTY miles per hour [except where]UNLESS SUCH CITY BY LAW DETERMINES A DIFFERENT OFFICIAL SPEED LIMIT IS APPROPRIATE OR an official sign indicates that a different speed limit is in effect. S 4. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.