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Lawmaker Proposes Lowering Speed Limit To 20 MPH In NYC

FILE -- New York City traffic. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

FILE — New York City traffic. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Manhattan lawmaker has introduced a bill that would lower the speed limit to 20 miles per hour across the majority of the city in an effort to make streets safer for pedestrians.

The legislation, introduced Thursday by Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, comes on the heels of a new safety push by Mayor Bill de Blasio, which includes stepped up traffic enforcement and fines from new speed cameras.

Presently, the city speed limit is 30 mph, but some lawmakers said lowering it by just 10 mph could mean the difference between life and death.

The measure is supported by parents like Audrey Anderson, whose son was one of 173 people killed in city traffic accidents last year.

“My loss is with me every day,” Anderson said. “I can’t even attend family functions and not think about him. It’s deep and it’s personal.”

Reaction among New Yorkers has been mixed.

“There’s a lot of times when you are walking on a crosswalk and somebody just about hits you, so making it a little slower doesn’t mean everybody’s going to drive 20 mph but it might mean some people will and it might help,” Astoria resident Brendan O’Brien said.

“Nobody is going to be doing 20 mph, so it’s just going to be for people getting a lot of tickets, I think that’s the only thing it’s going to accomplish,” one man said.

Some drivers are also concerned that lowering the speed limit will create traffic congestion.

So far this year, nearly a dozen people have been killed in traffic-related accidents, including 9-year-old Cooper Stock who was killed when a cab driver failed to yield and ran him down.

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