New Speed Limit in the City

As of November 7, 2014, the speed limit on all New York City streets is reduced from 30 mph to 25 mph unless otherwise posted. More than 3,000 30 mph signs have been replaced by new 25 mph signs around the city.

The new speed limit is part of the mayor Bill de Blasio’s traffic safety plan known as Vision Zero Action Plan. It aims to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries involving pedestrians and drivers.

This is the first change in maximum driving speeds on New York’s streets in 50 years. The new regulation applies to all unmarked streets in New York City. It does not apply to those streets where a different speed limit is posted.

Streets and highways that have been designed to accommodate faster speeds will remain at 30 mph or above. Other streets, like streets near schools or where traffic calming measures have been implemented, may have a lower speed limits posted.

New York City is not the only city with a speed limit set at 25 mph. Around the world, cities like London, Paris, Berlin, and Tokyo, have a speed limit set at 25 mph or lower. Those lower limits have resulted in far fewer traffic deaths. Cities in United States with 25 mph include Los Angeles and Washington D.C

Why a Lower Speed Limit Needed?

Speeding is a factor in about 25% of traffic fatalities in New York City. It kills more New Yorkers than drunk driving and the use of cellphones behind the wheel put together.

Research shows that speeds at or below 25 mph improves drivers’ ability to avoid crashes. Both drivers and pedestrians have more time to see each other and to react. The small 5 mph decrease in city traffic speed means that many crashes can be avoided altogether.

It is important to understand that the speed of a vehicle directly impacts the likelihood of death for struck pedestrians. When struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph, pedestrians are half as likely to die as when struck by a vehicle traveling at 30 mph.

Ever since taking office, Bill de Blasio has argued that forcing motorists to slow down, even slightly, could save the lives of pedestrians. It is only five miles an hour less than the previous limit, but de Blasio is convinced that the simple change will have an important effect.

Speeding Ticket

If you go between 10 and 30 mph over the speed limit, you may face fines ranging from $90 to $300. Penalties may also include jail time up to 15 days.

Will This Change Show Up on My Permit Test?

Several cities in New York State have speed limits less than 55 mph that is not always posted. This information is already available in the New York Driver’s Manual and not something new.

New York City is mentioned as one example and the following question appears in the New York Driver Handbook: If there is no posted speed limit, what is the fastest you can legally drive in New York City?

Obviously, this is something you must know if you plan to drive in New York City, and it is intended as general information for all residents in the state. A specific question like this is, however, not likely to show up on your final knowledge test. Just remember that if no limit is posted, you may never drive more than 55 mph (88 km/h) in New York State and that speed limits are not always posted.