In NYC, the maximum speed limit is 50 MPH, and the default speed limit, which means the speed unless otherwise posted, is 25 MPH. In early 2020 the NYC DOT will be reducing the speed limit on 3rd Avenue and Hamilton Avenue in Brooklyn from 30 MPH to 25 MPH.
The speed limit will be lowered along 3rd Avenue from Prospect Ave to 62nd St., and on Hamilton Ave from Luquer St. to 18th St. Lowering of the speed limit was done in response to a 300% increase in traffic related fatalities from 2018 in the targeted area.
According to NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, lowing the speed limit, coupled with strong enforcement, will help calm traffic. In addition, the NYC DOT also plans to install additional roadway engineering and capital improvements to make the road even safer.
For years New York City has been focusing on decreasing traffic crash fatalities. In 2013 nearly 300 people were killed in traffic accidents. For 2018 there were 203 fatalities, and as of December 22, 2019 there have been 215 fatalities. Of those fatalities, in 2018 111 were pedestrians, and to date in 2019 there have been 117 pedestrian fatalities.
New York City continues to be a leader in traffic safety with its Vision Zero program, which aims to reduce the number of traffic accident injuries and fatalities to zero. Vision Zero became official City policy in 2014. The policy mandated that all city agencies transform themselves by weaving into the culture of the department the Vision Zero philosophy in making traffic safety a priority. For example for-hire vehicle, MTA buses, and City fleet drivers now receive state-of-the-art training and safety education.
Due to this, NYC Traffic fatalities have fallen significantly. In 1990 there were 701 traffic fatalities, in 2000 there were 381, and in 2018 the city hit its all-time low of 202.
Not all of the Vision Zero initiatives have to do enforcement. For example, one initiative has been to launch a new driveway safety program to help developers and property owners adopt best practices for curb cuts and driveways. Others include analyzing the connection between speed and red-light violations on traffic crashes and injuries to generate insights into the impact of these violations on driving behavior, research the issues regarding medically impaired drivers and make recommendations for intervention, and to expand and enhance streets to improve pedestrian safety and access.
New York City’s efforts on traffic safety is laudable, and has been effective. While NYC is taking a holistic approach to traffic safety through education and engineering, the third prong of traffic safety is always enforcement. Which is where we come in. If you or anyone you know has received a NY State traffic ticket, was charged with an automobile crime, or was arrested due to drugs found during a motor vehicle stop, don’t delay call us at once. We talk to people every day who have been given tickets and arrested for motor vehicle crimes, searches, and issues, and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.