Hochul Supports NYC Lowering Its Speed Limit

By Reuvain Borchardt

NEW YORK — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is throwing her support behind a law that would allow New York City to lower its speed limit.

“Giving New York City the autonomy to change its speed limit can help the City determine how best to safeguard its own streets,” reads the proposal from the Democratic governor’s office, part of a 276-page policy book she released Tuesday to coincide with her State of the State address.

The bill, known as “Sammy’s Law” — named after Samuel Cohen Eckstein, a 12 year-old killed by a driver on Prospect Park West in 2013 — was first introduced by Brooklyn state Sen. Brad Hoylman in 2020. It would allow New York City to drop its citywide speed limit below the current 25 miles per hour and its school-zone speed limit below the current 15 miles per hour.

The administration of New York City Democratic Mayor Eric Adams is advocating for the bill. City Department of Transportation spokesman Vincent Barone told Hamodia Tuesday evening that “DOT strongly supports Sammy’s Law,” and “we look forward to working with advocates and the Governor’s office to get the legislation passed.” 

Hochul has already signed one law that helps New York City crack down on speeders, leading to what advocates argue are safer streets but what critics say is a ticket-revenue grab: last summer, she signed a bill that allows the city’s speed cameras to operate 24/7, rather than only during school hours.

State Sen. Simcha Felder, a conservative Democrat who has opposed speed cameras, criticized the proposal to lower the speed limit, in a written statement to Hamodia. “THIS IS INSANITY! If the Governor and Mayor want safer streets, then end all this chaos [former mayor Bill] de Blasio caused with unregulated bikes, e-bikes and scooters. They need to licensed, registered, plated, insured – and ticketed. It’s a hefkervelt [free-for all]!” wrote Felder, who has called for regulating use of these two-wheeled vehicles, which he has blamed for unsafe conditions on streets. “Lowering the speed limit is just more of the same old money grab charade! If they really want to save lives, they should focus on crime and safety in the city – not schlepping [pulling] more money out of hard-working taxpayers.”

The citywide speed limit was last lowered in 2014, when then-Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill dropping the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph, weeks after then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo had signed a bill granting the city permission to make that reduction.


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