NYC's 25-Mph Speed Limit Kicks In

Nov 07, 2014 10:51 AM EST | Jordan Ecarma

New York's cab drivers--and everyone else--will have to slow down a bit after the new speed regulations kicked in at 12:01 a.m. today.

The city speed limit has been lowered from 30 mph to 25 mph as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's initiative to reduce traffic deaths, NBC News reported. The change, which applies to all places where a speed limit is not posted, affects 90 percent of New York City's streets.

Around 3,000 speed limit signs reflecting the shift will be installed during the next year, with signage at entry points to the city taking priority, according to NBC.

During the campaign supporting the 25-mph speed limit, a memorandum in support of the new law said that the five-mile difference would cut a pedestrian's risk of death in a traffic accident in half.

A pedestrian hit by a vehicle going 25 mph has a 1 in 10 chance of being killed, while a pedestrian struck at 30 mph has a 1 in 5 chance, said a memorandum supporting of the bill that was issued over the summer by the city's director of state legislative affairs, Sherif Soliman.

The New York Police Department has vowed to "use discretion" when it comes to enforcing the new speed restrictions, working to catch true speeders rather than people going a mile or so over the limit.

"This is going to be all about discretion," said Thomas Chan, chief of the NYPD's Transportation Bureau, as quoted by the New York Post. "We hope that we don't have to issue the summonses, but . . . the officers, the NYPD will be prepared to enforce the new speed limit."

The new traffic signs will cost the city some half a million dollars.

Officials have additionally been working to reduce bicycle accidents. More than 4,300 bicyclists have been hit with summonses in a year when cyclist deaths have doubled and two pedestrians have been killed by bikes, the Post reported.

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