Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti signed an ordinance, Monday, to lower the speed limits on 177 miles of streets within the city.
Most of the affected streets will see a reduced speed of 5 mph, with priority given to streets with a “history of fatal and severe injury collisions.”
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our residents, and we need every tool at our disposal to ensure every decision we make prioritizes their well-being,” Mayor Garcetti said Monday. “The ability to manage speed limits locally is critical to reducing the risk of fatalities and serious injuries, and after a long fight at the state and local levels, this ordinance will help make our streets safer for everyone who uses them.”
The change comes on the heels of a California bill, AB 43, that took effect January 1, 2022, allowing cities to control speed limits.
Previously, speed limits in California were set by “speed surveys” where the Department of Transportation would manually monitor speeds at any given street and average out the speeds to the 85th percentile. The Department of Transportation itself was in favor of changing the way speed limits were set
“The City of Los Angeles was forced to increase speed limits across the city because of an arcane state law that allows speeders to set the speed limit. It’s a flawed policy that’s had devastating consequences. Recklessly fast driving has only increased, resulting in a 21% uptick in traffic fatalities in the city in 2021,” Assemblymember Laura Friedman, who authored the state bill, said on Monday. “Los Angeles was instrumental in helping me modernize the law with the passage of AB 43, and I appreciate the city’s quick action to restore safe speed limits across the region.”
A list of streets that are being affected by the speed limit reduction can be found here.