Relates to speed limits in cities having a population of one million or more people.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to minimum speed limits in cities having a population of one million or more people
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
Allows New York City to establish, by local law, speed limits throughout the city of no less than 25 miles per hour.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill amends section 1643 of the vehicle and traffic law to add a provision allowing cities with a population of one million or more to establish speed limits as low as 25 miles per hour.
Section 2 of the bill states that the bill shall take effect immediately.
Under current New York State law, citywide speed limits in New York City cannot be set below 30 miles per hour by the New York City Council. This bill would amend the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law to give New York City home rule power over establishing its own citywide speed limit as low as 25 miles per hour. The cities of Buffalo, Rochester, and Long Beach all have some degree of home rule power to reduce their speed limits below 30 miles per hour.
Approximately 4,000 New Yorkers are seriously injured, and over 250 are killed every year in traffic accidents in New York City. Reduced speed limits have been proven to reduce fatality rates and give pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers alike increased response time.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
None to the state.
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6651 IN SENATE February 21, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. HOYLMAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to minimum speed limits in cities having a population of one million or more people THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 1643 of the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by chapter 412 of the laws of 2012, is amended to read as follows: S 1643. Speed limits on highways in cities and villages. The legisla- tive body of any city or village with respect to highways (which term for the purposes of this section shall include private roads open to public motor vehicle traffic) in such city or village, other than state highways maintained by the state on which the department of transporta- tion shall have established higher or lower speed limits than the statu- tory 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 or village 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 may by local law, ordinance, order, rule or regulation establish maximum speed limits at which vehi- cles may proceed within such city or village, within designated areas of such city or village or on or along designated highways within such city or village higher or lower than the fifty-five miles per hour maximum statutory limit. No such speed limit applicable throughout such city or village or within designated areas of such city or village shall be established at less than thirty miles per hour; except that IN A CITY WITH A POPULATION OF ONE MILLION OR MORE, SPEED LIMITS MAY BE ESTAB- LISHED AT NOT LESS THAN TWENTY-FIVE MILES PER HOUR AND in the city of Long Beach, in the county of Nassau, speed limits may be established at not less than fifteen miles per hour on any portion of the following highways in such city: Cleveland avenue, Harding avenue, Mitchell avenue, Belmont avenue, Atlantic avenue, Coolidge avenue, Wilson avenueEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD14109-02-4 S. 6651 2
and Taft avenue. No such speed limit applicable on or along designated highways within such city or village shall be established at less than twenty-five miles per hour, except that school speed limits may be established at not less than fifteen miles per hour, for a distance not to exceed one thousand three hundred twenty feet, on a highway passing a school building, entrance or exit of a school abutting on the highway and except that within the cities of Buffalo and Rochester speed limits may be established at not less than fifteen miles per hour for any portion of a highway within a city park. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.