Sammy’s Law Changing NYC Speed Limits to as Low as 10mph

Posted on 
July 2, 2024
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On April 30th, 2024, Sammy’s Law was passed into the state budget, granting the City of New York the authority to reduce speed limits dramatically. Sammy’s Law gives New York City greater autonomy to set its speed limits to 20mph on individual streets and 10mph on specified streets undergoing safety-related redesigns without having to pass through the state legislature. 

Beginning in September (allowing for a 60-day public comment period), NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) will begin decreasing speed limits in 250 locations. The speed reductions will focus on priority locations like schools and areas of the city with greater proportions of non-white and low-income residents, higher population and job density, and a lack of significant previous NYC DOT investments, with the goal being to finish the new speed implementations by 2025. Roads with three or more lanes going in the same direction will stay at 25mph in every borough but Manhattan. 

What does this mean for drivers? Increased chances of receiving a speeding ticket. If officers and traffic cameras hit drivers going more than 10mph over the limit, in these new zones you can get a speeding ticket for going only 31 mph in a 20 mph zone (or 21 mph in a 10 mph zone) which isn’t exactly speed demon territory. In NYS, even the smallest speeding ticket is worth 3 points, the greatest speeding ticket is worth 11 points and a license suspension.

Sammy’s Law is named for Sammy Cohen Eckstein, who was tragically killed at the age of 12 in a preventable traffic accident in 2013. Amy Cohen, Sammy’s mother, co-founded Families for Safe Streets in 2014 to address needless traffic violence in New York City. Since then, FSS has grown to include chapters in cities all around the country, formed by several hundred parents who have suffered similar tragedies and are “advocating for life-saving changes and providing support to those who have been impacted by crashes”.

According to Vision Zero View, 2013 was NYC’s worst year for traffic accident fatalities in the years it’s been tracked since 2009, with 299 traffic-related deaths. Once the city adopted Vision Zero in 2014, the numbers began to go down, with the lowest number, 202, recorded in 2018. However, the numbers have started to rise again, with 265 deaths in 2023, and 98 deaths by the end of May 2024. With the passing of Sammy’s Law, NYC officials hope to reduce those numbers along with the speed limits. “Speeding ruins lives, and reducing vehicle speeds by even a few miles per hour could be the difference between life or death in a traffic crash,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Rodriguez. 
If you or a loved one has been affected by traffic violations or a traffic accident, it is crucial to seek legal guidance. Hiring an experienced attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the case, ensure your rights are protected, and secure the best possible outcome. Don't wait—contact a legal professional today to discuss your situation and explore your options. Reach out to Rosenblum Law at 888-815-3649 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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Adam H. Rosenblum

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Adam H. Rosenblum is an experienced and skilled traffic violations and criminal defense attorney. Mr. Rosenblum provides expert and aggressive representation to those facing points on their drivers’ licenses and the associated fines and surcharges.

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