Senate OKs Legislation Allowing Towns to Set Speed Limits

Betty Little

June 20, 2011

            Legislation sponsored by Senator Betty Little that would allow towns throughout New York State to establish their own speed limits was approved by the Senate today.

            Currently, towns are required to seek permission from the New York State Department of Transportation to change a speed limit, a sometimes long and arduous process.  However, villages, towns with populations greater than 50,000 residents, suburban class towns and all cities are not required to seek the same approval.

            “This is a clear example of the confusing and contradictory nature of New York laws affecting local governments,” said Little.  “This legislation addresses a simple issue and I’m hopeful it will pass the Assembly and receive the governor’s approval.”

            The bill, S547, would require towns wanting to set maximum speed limits do so in accordance with standards already set forth by New York State.  Changes would have to be certified by a licensed professional engineer specializing in traffic operations.  Towns not wanting to set their own speed limits could continue to retain the Department of Transportation’s oversight and approval.

            The bill has been delivered the Assembly.