Senate OKs bill allowing towns to set speed limits

Betty Little

March 13, 2013

      The State Senate today approved legislation that would allow towns to set maximum speed limits on local roads.  Currently, cities, villages and towns with populations of 50,000 or greater can do so without New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) approval.

       “It’s an arbitrary distinction,” said Senator Betty Little, the sponsor of the legislation.  “This is an example of New York State law that doesn’t make sense, creating a hurdle for many towns that are required to petition the Department of Transportation while most other local governments are exempt.”

       The proposed change would require towns electing to set speed limits on town highways functionally classified by DOT as local roads do so in accordance with engineering specifications and other factors applicable to speed limits as specified in the New York State Manual.  Approval by a licensed professional engineer specializing in traffic operations would be required.

       The bill retains DOT’s jurisdiction to set maximum speed limits on local roads at the request of a town board.

       The bill was sent to the Assembly.