NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A4655A
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to establishing
speed limits in cities with populations in excess of one million people
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill names the act "Sammy's Law."
Section 2 of the bill amends section 1642 of the Vehicle & Traffic Law
("Additional traffic regulations in cities having a population in excess
of one million") by:
-Amending sub-paragraph 26(a) to authorize New York City to set a city-
wide speed limit as low as 20 miles per hour.
-Amending sub-paragraph 26(b) to require New York City to provide writ-
ten notice and an opportunity for public comment before a community
board if the City raises a speed limit by more than 5 miles per hour.
This is an expansion of an existing statutory requirement for notice and
public comment if the City lowers a speed limit by more than 5 miles per
-Amending paragraph 27, authorizing New York City to set speed limits on
specific streets as low as 5 MPH using traffic calming measures.
Currently, the speed limit can be set as low as 15 MPH using such meas-
Section 3 of the bill is the effective date.
In 2014, the Legislature passed a law authorizing New York City to
establish a 25 mile per hour speed limit throughout the City, with speed
limits as low as 15 miles per hour in school zones and on streets where
the City has implemented traffic calming measures to reduce the negative
effects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behavior, and/or improve
conditions for non-motorized street users such as pedestrians and bicy-
The 2014 law, a key component of New York City's Vision Zero initiative,
has helped contribute to a 36% decline in pedestrian deaths at priority
locations throughout the City. (1)
Giving New York City the authority to reduce speed limits to as low as
20 MPH citywide or as low as 5 MPH with the implementation of traffic
calming measures will give the City a flexible tool for making further
progress toward the important goal of Vision Zero.
According to a study by AAA, an estimated 30% of pedestrians struck by
motor vehicles at an impact speed of 25 mph will sustain serious injury
and about 12% will die. At impact speeds below 15 mph, most pedestrians
who are struck (about 91%) do not sustain serious injuries, and fewer
By authorizing citywide speed limits as low as 20 miles per hour, New
York City would join other dense American cities such as Washington, DC
(3), Seattle, WA (4), and Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN (5).
This bill is named in tribute to Sammy Cohen Eckstein, a 12 year-old boy
who was struck and killed by a vehicle in Prospect Park, Brooklyn in
vision-zero-year-6 - report.pdf
4 httos://www.seattiorgov/visionzero/rules-of-the-road :-:
25%20MPH%2C2Ouniess 20otherwis :S2Oposted
5 https : / /www . visienzero,com/soeedlim
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
None, new bill.
To be determined.
This act shall take effect immediately.