City of Boston Considers Reducing Speed Limit to 20 Miles-Per-Hour Two Years After Reducing it to 25 Miles-Per-Hour

Most people are aware that speeding can lead to serious accidents but drivers continue to break them anyway. Recently, the City of Boston reduced speed limits to 25 miles-per-hour with the goal of reducing the number of traffic-related pedestrian deaths and injuries. According to recent reports, Mayor Marty Walsh and the Boston City Council are considering reducing the speed limit to 20 miles-per-hour to provide even greater protections.

The move to reduce speed limits originated with the City’s VisionZero program, which was backed by Governor Baker and the Massachusetts Legislature. In 2016, Governor Baker signed a piece of legislation called the Municipal Modernization bill that allows municipalities to reduce speed limits from 30 miles-per-hour to 25 miles-per-hour as the default for areas where no speed limits are posted. This is especially important for high-traffic areas that adjoin residential communities like Boston, Quincy, Dedham, Cambridge, and Arlington. It is important for drivers to be aware of this change and to reduce their speed to 25 miles-per-hour in affected areas.

Although the speed limit reduction may not seem like it will make a big difference, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a study concluding that the 5 mile-per-hour reduction from 30 miles-per-hour to 25 miles-per-hour led to a 29% reduction in vehicles traveling 35 miles-per-hour or more. Also, data shows that 90% of pedestrians who are hit in a vehicle accident are hit by a vehicle that was traveling faster than 20 miles-per-hour.

The fines for speeding are the same despite the change in speed limit, running $105 for each speeding citation. If you were traveling 10 miles-per-hour or more over the speed limit, you face an additional $10 charge per additional mile-per-hour that you were speeding.

Boston’s mayor also detailed a number of other proposals related to transportation in the city, including the development of special zones for rideshare drivers to pick-up and drop-off riders. This is mainly targeted at the continuing increase in the popularity of services like Uber and Lyft. Although the ridesharing apps are convenient, drivers and pedestrians are facing additional risk as riders dash out into the street in an attempt to find their driver, or as drivers navigate crowded areas trying to locate their passenger on the sidewalk or street corner.

If you were injured in a car accident either as a passenger in a vehicle or a pedestrian, you can bring a personal injury accident against the person who was driving the car that injured you. There are many steps in a personal injury action that a plaintiff must overcome before he or she will be awarded compensation, including showing that the other driver failed to use adequate care and skill at the time of the crash. Depending on the complexity of the crash, you may also need to hire expert witnesses to testify about the situation and how the defendant’s conduct led to your injuries.

As compassionate and experienced car accident lawyers, we are ready to help you assert your right to damages against a careless driver. We provide a free consultation so that you can learn more about our services and whether you have a viable legal claim. To schedule your appointment, call us at 17-263-0060 or contact us online to learn more.

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