B’wick Pol Wants City to Set Its Own Speed Limits

Say Home Rule Helps Improve Pedestrian Safety

Citing the alarming rate of traffic fatalities in New York City, State Sen. Martin Malavé Dilan, has sponsored legislation in the State Senate to empower city officials to make speed limit changes as they deem necessary.

“In the first two weeks of 2014 there were seven pedestrian fatalities, two in the same day. While Mayor de Blasio’s ramped-up enforcement has made an impact, the city requires additional tools to realistically address these fatalities. City officials feel that targeting trouble areas with lower speed limits can have an impact, ” said Dilan, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.

The likelihood that an accident with a pedestrian will be fatal directly correlates with the speed at which the vehicle is travelling. At twenty miles per hour, the likelihood that a pedestrian hit by a motorist will die is five percent; at thirty miles per hour that likelihood jumps to forty five percent.

By giving the New York City Council the ability to reduce the speed limit by ten miles per hour, pedestrian safety in the city will vastly improve.

“Last year the number of traffic related deaths nearly outpaced the murder rate. Those deaths were preventable. On McGuinness Boulevard in my district, countless requests have been made for speed cameras or traffic calming measures. Unfortunately, deaths continue to occur up and down the treacherous stretch of road. However, reducing the speed on McGuinness has never been an option. It’s my hope that for McGuinness, and other areas throughout the city, a 20 m.p.h. zone will make the difference between life or death.”

The measure is carried in the Assembly by Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell.

More from Around New York