Crown Heights state representative Brian Cunningham released a Twitter poll Tuesday to gauge support for a 20-mile-per-hour speed limit. This comes as the State Senate approaches the possible passing of Sammy’s Law, which would enable New York City to lower speed limits to the aforementioned 20 MPH. The decision may come before the State Senate adjourns for the year on June 8th.
The legislation is named after Sammy Cohen Eckstein, a 12-year-old boy fatally struck by a car in Prospect Park in October 2013. In the wake of the tragedy, his mother Amy Cohen became a street safety activist.
Supporters of the bill point to higher speeds as one of the greatest factors behind fatal pedestrian deaths, and say even a small reduction could save lives. Detractors criticize it as moot since the enforcement of the current speed limit (25 MPH) is weak. They also say it would be used as an excuse to ticket more drivers.
“The city is ill-equipped to deal with additional mandates at this time,” noted Yosef Hershkop, a community activist and member of Community Board 9. “It’s not like anyone is really enforcing the 25 mph so what’s the point of further legislation?”
The bill appears likely to pass the state Senate and Assembly after New York City lawmakers passed a resolution formally requesting the measure. State Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal (D-Manhattan), who is sponsoring the bill in his chamber, said the measure’s prospects were “looking good” though “nothing is done until it’s over the finish line.”