"We have promised the people of this city that we will use every tool we have to make streets safer. Today is another step on our path to fulfilling that promise, and sparing more families the pain of losing a son, a daughter, or a parent in a senseless tragedy. There is much more work ahead, both here in the five boroughs and up in Albany. But today, we thank the families, advocates, and City Council members who have taken up this cause and helped us better protect our fellow New Yorkers," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Laws and regulations that seek to change driver behavior through lower speed limits, the deployment of innovative traffic safety devices, and increased penalties for egregious traffic violations, are instrumental to driving traffic crashes down in New York City. By devising smart legislative and regulatory strategies to protect all those who traverse our streets -- pedestrians, bikers, drivers - government can improve the safety of its citizenry and can literally make a difference in saving lives.
Laws impacting traffic safety can be enacted on every level of government. Whether allocating funding for transportation safety initiatives, authorizing traffic calming devices to improve the flow of traffic, or changing driver education requirements, government plays an integral role in preserving and strengthening traffic safety. While the City Council has some authority to enact safety legislation, many of the laws that determine the safety of our streets are controlled by the State Legislature and the Governor. The de Blasio administration has been working closely with the City Council , the Governor's office and the State Legislature to improve laws and regulations that affect the safety of New York City streets. In six months, this close partnership has produced significant results through an array of legislative victories.
On June 23, 2014 Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a package of vital legislation that will make streets safer across the five boroughs. The Mayor signed 11 bills supporting the City's Vision Zero initiative by enhancing traffic data collection and enforcement efforts, codifying safety engineering commitments, and updating the city's legal code to enhance penalties for dangerous driving.
The package of traffic safety bills signed by the Mayor are:
Partnering with state legislative leaders during the 2014 legislative session, Mayor de Blasio advanced and secured the passage of significant legislation that empowers the City to lower its default citywide speed limit from 30 to 25 miles per hour, a measure that will help reduce chronic speeding-a leading factor in fatal traffic crashes in New York City. By working closely with the Governor and legislative leaders in Albany, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed legislation to increase the number of school speed zones at which speed cameras can operate by 120, bringing the total citywide number to 140 school speed zones. In addition, the Mayor secured the enactment of a five-year extension of the City's red light camera enforcement program, an enormously effective program in existence since 1988 that prevents injuries and the loss of life resulting from red light running.
The package of safety bills passed by the state legislature:
In order to improve the safety of our streets additional legislative changes are still necessary. Check out other State and City legislation and regulatory proposals.