Drivers in New York City are being asked to slow down just a little bit more as the default speed limit has been dropped from 30 miles per hour to 25 on most streets in the nation's largest city. The lowered limit is part of New York Mayor Mayor Bill de Blasio's (above right) "Vision Zero" plan, and is seen as a way to reduce roadway fatalities.
The bid to improve safety, specifically for children and the elderly, is being hailed by some as a big step in the right direction. Amy Cohen, mother of 12-year-old Sammy Cohen Eckstein, who was struck and killed in Brooklyn in 2013, was quoted by a blog on The New York Times as saying in a rally held before the limit was lowered, "Our children should not be sacrificed so someone can shave a few seconds off their travel time."
According to Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg (above left), quoted by CBS News, "When you lower the speed limit from 30 to 25, if there's a collision, you cut in half the chances it will result in a fatality." So far, according to the mayor, there have been 24 fewer pedestrian fatalities in New York in 2014.
It remains to be seen how well drivers in the city respond to the new limits, but if pedestrian fatalities continue to fall, it would be awfully difficult to argue for them to be raised back to 30. That said, we'd welcome your opinions. Should other large cities consider lowering their default speed limits if the safety action proves successful in New York?