Cities Across Country Looking to Cut the Default Speed Limit, but States Stand in the Way

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Latino Health Walkability Pedestrian Safety
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Pedestrians have a 90% survival rate if they are hit by a vehicle going 20 miles per hour, compared to only a 50% survival rate if hit by a vehicle going 30 mph.

In 2016, Seattle, WA (6.6% Latino); Alexandria, VA (16.9% Latino); Boston, MA (17.5%Latino); and New York City, NY (28.6% Latino), among other cities lowered the default speed limit in some urban and residential areas by 5-10 mph.

Speed is the most important factor to regulate to improve pedestrian safety for Latinos and all pedestrians, and can help boost daily physical activity, which is important for mental and physical health.

The founder and director of the Vision Zero Network to eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries, Leah Shahum, says state permission is a key obstacle to traffic safety that cities have to deal with, according to one source.

Many cities need to go to the state legislature and jump through expensive hoops to get approval to reduce default speed limits. For example, a bill proposed in Texas would allow urban areas to lower speed limits in some areas by 5 mph. In the meantime, any reductions in the speed limit, like in Austin, TX (35.1% Latino) are on a pilot basis.

Spread the word and start the conversation about reducing the speed limit in urban or residential areas near you.

 

By The Numbers By The Numbers

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Pedestrians survive when hit by a car at 40 MPH

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