Senate Passes Legislation Allowing Towns to Set Speed Limits

James S. Alesi

June 21, 2011

The New York State Senate last Thursday passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Elizabeth Little (R-C-I, Queensbury), to allow towns throughout New York State to establish their own speed limits. Senator Alesi, who has sponsored similar legislation in the past, was one of many Senators to vote in favor of the bill.


“The purpose of this legislation is to provide for safer streets by allowing certain towns to independently lower their speed limits,” said Senator Alesi. “Traditionally, towns have had to receive permission from the State DOT [Department of Transportation] before changing their speed limits. This legislation aims to eliminate a long, arduous step in that process, streamlining our government operations.”


The bill (S.547) would require towns wanting to set maximum speed limits to 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 was sent to the Assembly.