Speeding is a top cause of car accidents and is one that the New York Department of Transportation is trying hard to address. The DOT is considering a number of enforcement efforts from speed cameras in areas near schools to trap speeders, to public education and outreach campaigns about the dangers of speeding. One other program they have in place is called Neighborhood Slow Zones.
According to the DOT, Neighborhood Slow Zones are community-based programs where the speed limit is lowered and where more safety measures are put into place. Our Queens injury attorneys know that a lower speed limit not only reduces crashes but also reduces the severity of accidents when they do occur. The NY DOT believes that the low speed zones will thus do a great deal to make people safer.
Slow Zones Improve Safety in Targeted Communities
Neighborhood Slow Zones are a community-based initiative. Communities can petition the DOT to request that their area become a slow zone. The DOT will review the applications that they receive and will make a determination on which locations are appropriate. The DOT will then work with communities to create a plan for the implementation of the Slow Zone.
To be considered as a Slow Zone, the area must be a small, self-contained local street. There must be a low traffic volume and the area must have minimal congestion in order to ensure that reducing the speed limit will not cause traffic backups.
When a Slow Zone is declared, there will be signs and markings at intersections to alert drivers to the fact that they are entering the Slow Zone and that they must drive at a reduced speed limit. The areas with the signs and the markings are called gateways into the slow zones and between one and two parking spots in the areas may be removed in order to make way for the signs.
Within the Slow Zone, speed bumps, markings and traffic calming treatments will be in place to force drivers to slow down. The reduced speed limit will thus be self-enforcing so people will have to obey the lower speed limit even without the presence of law enforcement to actively monitor driver speed.
The speed limit in the Slow Zones will be reduced from 30 miles per hour to 20 miles per hour. This will make the area significantly safer both by reducing the number of crashes and by reducing the severity of accidents when a crash does occur.
The hope is that Slow Zones will make a big difference, as they have in London. When 20 mile per hour zones were introduced in London, there was a 42 percent reduction in injuries resulting from accidents when compared to other areas. The average decrease in speeds in the designated Slow Zones in London was 9 miles per hour.
Five slow zones have already been declared by the DOT and more applications for new zones are currently being accepted. Applications must be submitted by May 31, 2013 for those who wish to have their community considered for this potentially life-saving change.
The Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC offers free consultations to those who have been injured in a speeding accident. Call 1-877-313-7673.
NYC Child Injuries Decline Following School Zone Safety Program, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, Feb. 5, 2013.
Speeding Driver Injures New York Schoolchildren Waiting for Bus, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, Feb 2013.