Watchdog Supports Sammy’s Law to Give NYC Home Rule Over Its Streets

A7266 (Rosenthal, L.) / S2422 (Hoylman-Sigal)
Allows New York City to Set Speed Limits as Low as 20 mph (Sammy’s Law)

An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to establishing speed limits in cities with populations in excess of one million people.

Section 1 names the act “Sammy’s Law.”

Section 2 makes several amendments to section 1642 of the Vehicle & Traffic Law:

  • Amends sub-paragraph 26(a) to authorize NYC to set a citywide speed limit as low as 20 miles per hour.
  • Amends sub-paragraph 26(b) to require NYC to provide written notice and an opportunity for public comment before a community board if the City raises a speed limit by more than 5 miles per hour. Currently there is only comment required if the City lowers a speed limit by more than 5 miles per hour.
  • Amends paragraph 27, authorizing NYC to set speed limits on specific streets as low as 5 MPH using traffic calming measures. Currently, the speed limit can be set as low as 15 MPH using such measures.

Section 3 sets the effective date as immediately.

Reinvent Albany supports the intent of this legislation to grant New York City greater authority over its speed limits. 

Regarding home rule issues generally, Reinvent Albany believes the state should grant localities permanent authority to:

  • Set maximum speed limits;  
  • Create and operate automated traffic enforcement camera programs including hours of operation, number and type of cameras, locations and penalties;
  • Establish Residential Parking Permit programs; and
  • Use automated parking enforcement.

Click here to view this memo as a PDF.