Last year, Governor Charlie Baker approved legislation that allows cities and towns to reduce the default speed limit on non-posted roads to 25 MPH, instead of the current 30 MPH.
Joining a movement involving other neighboring communities, including Boston, Chelsea and Cambridge, Mayor Brian Arrigo submitted a request to the Revere City Council to adopt the lower limit. The motion will be discussed at Monday night’s Council meeting.
The modification to speed limits would not impact roads with posted limits, or state roads. However, it would slow down speeds in residential areas in the name of public safety.
“Most of our streets that don’t have posted speed limits are residential roads,” said Mayor Brian Arrigo. “There could be kids on their bikes, or out playing basketball. Drivers need to be aware when they’re on residential streets and slow down.”
“While reducing the speed limit to 25 MPH does not eliminate all danger for children and other pedestrians, encouraging drivers to slow down even just a little bit improves safety for everyone on our streets,” added the Mayor.
If the Council votes to approve the lower speed limit, the City will need to notify MassDOT and set a start date for the changes. This would also include an education campaign to notify drivers of the upcoming change.
Vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and speed is one of the most important factors in traffic safety for both drivers and pedestrians. According to a study performed by AAA in 2011, pedestrians hit by a car traveling under 20 MPH have over a 9 in 10 chance of surviving the crash. However, more than half of pedestrian crashes studied where a vehicle was traveling over 30 MPH were fatal. Additionally, a small reduction in speed can improve response time to allow drivers and pedestrians to avoid a crash in the first place.
The ability for cities and towns to adopt a lower speed limit in non-posted areas was a key component of Governor Baker’s Municipal Modernization Bill, signed in to law in 2016.