Thiele Co-Sponsors Legislation Permitting Local Governments to Reduce Maximum Speed Limits to 25 MPH on Local Roads

Current State Law is 30 MPH with Certain Exceptions; Legislation Would Permit Local Governments to Set a 25 MPH Maximum Speed Limit by Local Law
September 24, 2019

New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (I, D, WF-Sag Harbor) has co-sponsored legislation with Assembly Member Amy Paulin of Westchester County that would permit cities, towns, and villages, at their option, to reduce maximum speed limits on local roads to 25 mph. Under current law, the maximum speed limit cannot be less than 30 mph, with certain limited exceptions. Thiele chairs the Assembly Local Governments Committee.

Thiele stated, “Research shows that faster driving speeds correlate to more serious injuries and fatalities for pedestrians in the event of an accident. The faster a vehicle is traveling, the less time its driver will have to see a pedestrian in the road and stop and the less time a pedestrian will have to react. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a pedestrian struck by a vehicle going 25 mph has a 25 percent risk of sustaining a serious or fatal injury, a 50 percent risk at 33 mph and a 75 percent risk at 41 mph.”

A 2018 study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that lowering the speed limit by 5 mph improves safety outcomes for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists by reducing the incidence of speeding. Researchers found that after the lowering the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph, the estimated odds of a vehicle exceeding 35 mph fell by 29.3 percent. Also, the odds of a vehicle exceeding 30 mph fell by 8.5 percent and by 2.9 percent of exceeding 25 mph. These reduced speeds will help to curb the incidence of serious injuries and fatalities in pedestrian involved accidents.

Thiele explained, “Research proves that the public's safety benefits when speed limits are lowered, and this proactive step will help to decrease fatalities and the severity of injuries that can result from speed related accidents.

Thiele added, “Reducing speed limits is an efficient, simple solution to protect the public and prevent tragedies.”