Senate passes bill to allow, St. Lawrence County, other NY towns to set speed limits without state DOT approval
Friday, March 2, 2018 - 11:48 am

The state Senate on Feb. 27 approved a bill that would allow towns to set speed limits without the need to seek permission from the state Department of Transportation.

Current law allows villages, cities and towns with populations greater than 50,000 to set their speed limits without first receiving DOT approval. About 850 towns, however, must now petition DOT because of current state law.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Betty Little, R-Queensbury, would create a uniform, statewide standard.

Towns wanting to change a speed limit would be required to do so in accordance with standards set forth by New York state. A speed limit change would need to be certified by a licensed professional engineer specializing in traffic operations, Little’s office said.

“The current process of petitioning the state is arduous and unnecessarily costly. This is a mandate relief measure that would afford towns the same ability to manage traffic safety as many municipalities now do,” Little said in a prepared statement. “Each year, new laws are created. It makes sense sometimes to see what may be simplified to eliminate confusion and contradiction in our statutes. This is one of those instances.”

The bill (S389) passed the state Senate with unanimous support, the senator’s office said.

Companion legislation is sponsored by Assemblyman Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay.