Klein Bill to Lower City Speed Limit Signed by Governor Cuomo

Jeffrey D. Klein

August 11, 2014

NEW YORK, NY  - State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) announced Monday that Governor Andrew Cuomo signed his bill authorizing New York City to lower its speed limit from 30 to 25 miles per hour.

“With this new law we say to reckless drivers - enough is enough. By lowering the speed limit we remind speeders that our roads are not raceways and that in a city such as ours, streets are public, not private roads, and they must be respected,” said State Senator Jeff Klein.

"This bill will save lives and it is an important step to making our streets safer. Without Senator Klein this bill would not have passed this session and we are grateful for his leadership which we expect to continue in the months ahead as we continue to work for safer streets," said Aaron Charlop-Powers, Families for Safer Streets Advocate.

The Klein sponsored bill (S7892), which passed the State Senate in June, seeks to reduce the high number of vehicle and pedestrian accidents that occur every year throughout New York City by allowing New York City to lower its default speed limit in areas where the speed limit is not already posted from 30 to 25 mph. It also gives community boards input, a measure which community boards throughout the Bronx praised.

Bronx Community Board 8 Chairman Dan Padernacht said: "As former chair of Community Board 8's transportation committee, and now as Chairman, I know the weight that traffic and pedestrian safety issues carry in our community. I thank Senator Klein for his leadership on this issue and for the urgency he had in getting this bill through the Senate this year. I have no doubt that this legislation will make our streets safer and protect Bronx families from traffic related injury or harm."

Bronx Community Board 9 Chairman William Rivera said, “As a longtime resident and now chairman of Community Board 9, I know the streets in our community inside and out and know the blocks and thoroughfares that experience the highest levels of speeding. With Senator Klein's legislation, the community board will be empowered to take action on lowering speed limits in areas where other tools have been ineffective. I believe this measure will not only make our streets safer, but also save lives.”

Bronx Community Board 10 Chairman John Marano said, “As Chairman of Bronx Community Board 10, I both applaud and support this legislation, and extend my appreciation for the Senator's efforts in working with his colleagues at the State and local levels of government to bring innovative change to our traffic laws.  The speed limit reduction will have a positive effect upon Bronx Community Board 10 and will make our streets safer.”

The new law, which is aligned with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan, is aimed at reducing the thousands of pedestrian injuries and hundreds of traffic related fatalities that occur in New York City every year. Statistics show that lowering the speed limit to 25 miles per hour dramatically reduces the chance of a pedestrian car-related fatality to 1 in 10.

The law builds on Senator Klein’s continued efforts to protect pedestrians and save lives, most notably when it comes to children in school zones. Earlier this year Klein helped secure an additional 120 speed cameras to be placed in well-known problem areas where drivers are known to speed.