Senate measure lets towns set their own speed limits

The state Senate has approved legislation that lets towns across the state set their own speed limits.

State Senator Betty Little sponsored the bill.

Currently, towns are required to seek permission from the state Department of Transportation to change a speed limit, which Little calls a "sometimes long and arduous process."

But villages, towns with populations greater than 50,000 residents, suburban class towns and all cities are not required to seek the same approval, she adds.

"This is a clear example of the confusing and contradictory nature of New York laws affecting local governments," Little said in an emailed statement.

"This legislation addresses a simple issue and I'm hopeful it will pass the Assembly and receive the governor's approval," she said.

The bill would require towns wanting to set maximum speed limits do so in accordance with standards already set forth by the state.

Changes would have to be certified by a licensed professional engineer specializing in traffic operations. Towns not wanting to set their own speed limits could continue to retain the DOT's oversight and approval.

The bill has been delivered to the Assembly.

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