Vision Zero: Safe Driving

Overview

In the City of New York, we recognize that deaths and serious injuries in traffic are not inevitable "accidents," but preventable crashes that can be ended through engineering, enforcement, and education. No level of fatality on city streets is inevitable or acceptable.

Vision Zero is NYC’s citywide initiative to eliminate death and serious injuries from traffic incidents.

Vision Zero is woven into the operations of all agencies on the Vision Zero Task Force: Business Integrity Commission, City Hall, Department for the Aging, Department of Citywide Administration Services, Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, NYC DOT, District Attorney's Offices, Law Department, Mayor's Office Community Affairs Unit, Mayor's Office of Data Analytics, Mayor's Office of Operations, MTA, Office of Management & Budget, Police Department, Sheriff's Office, and Taxi & Limousine Commission.

NYC’s Vision Zero website

New York City Speed Limit

Cars travel along an avenue in NYC, driving past a sign that reads: NYC Law Speed Limit 25 unless otherwise posted.

Vision Zero logo for speed limit 25. For a safer NYC.

As part of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative, NYC DOT was proud to champion the successful effort to lower New York City’s default speed limit from 30 MPH to 25 MPH.

Thirty miles per hour was and is an inappropriate speed limit for most residential streets. With the leadership and support of the state legislature, the governor and the City Council, the 2014 legislative change was followed by the safest year on New York City streets.

NYC DOT now provides current posted speed limits as a layer in Open Data and for public viewing on the Vision Zero View website.

NYC DOT is always open to public feedback and considers public input on posted speed limits.

Download Maps on Posted Speed Limits in NYC Open Data Vision Zero View Download 25 MPH FAQ’s (pdf)

Automated Enforcement Overview

New York City has an extensive network of cameras for enforcing speed and red light violations throughout the City. Speeding and running red lights are common causes of serious crashes, and automated enforcement technology has proven itself effective, efficient, and fair.

When a driver commits a violation, the vehicle’s license plate is photographed, and a Notice of Liability is sent to the vehicle’s registered owner.

Not only have these cameras significantly lowered the incidence of speeding and red light running, but they have also acted as a deterrent – most drivers do not receive more than one or two of these violations.

The New York State Legislature granted NYC DOT the authority to expand and enhance its schools-based speed camera program from 140 locations to 750 in 2019. New York City has the largest automated enforcement program in the United States, and one of the largest in the world.

Pay or dispute a camera violation with the NYC Department of Finance

Speed Camera Program

On a sunny day, pedestrians walk and push man sitting in a wheelchair through a crosswalk in Lower Manhattan while three lanes of cars and trucks wait at a traffic signal.

NYC DOT launched the Speed Camera program in 2013. In June 2014, the pilot was expanded to a total of 140 school speed zones, in order to support the pursuit of the City’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries. NYC DOT is now authorized by the State to deploy speed cameras in 750 school speed zones on all weekdays between 6am and 10pm.

New York City’s Speed Camera Enforcement FAQ (pdf) Speed Cameras & Vision Zero: The Case for Speed Cameras 24/7 (pdf)

Speed Camera Program Report

Through December 2020, speeding at fixed camera locations had fallen by an average of 72 percent, and total injuries dropped 14 percent. On some Vision Zero Priority Corridors, the decline in speeding violations has been even greater, over 80 percent. However, in 2020, more than one-third of all non-highway traffic fatalities in New York City took place in school speed zones with cameras, but at times when those cameras were not legally permitted to operate (overnight hours on weekdays and the entirety of weekends). NYC DOT supports State legislation that would allow for 24/7 operation of the cameras along with escalating fines to deter repeat violators. This report was prepared to comply with State law, which granted the City the authority to operate a Speed Camera program.

NYC DOT's Speed Camera Program Report (pdf)

Red Light Camera Program

Aerial view of a traffic signal in New York City. The signal glows red.

The purpose of the Red Light Camera Program is to encourage all motorists to obey traffic signals. A vehicle photographed entering an intersection after a traffic signal turns red will be issued a fine payable by the vehicle’s registered owner.

New York City launched the nation's first program in 1994. Since then, over 500 American municipalities have established similar programs, preventing red light running related crashes, injuries and deaths across the country.

Red Light Camera Program Report

The program has contributed to an 85 percent drop in red light running events at intersections with a camera. The success of this program has made New York City residents safer. This annual report was prepared to comply with State law passed in 1988, which granted the City the authority to launch the first Red Light Camera Program.

NYC DOT's Red Light Camera Program Report (pdf)

Bus Lane Camera Program

traffic waits at a red traffic signal on a busy midtown street. Buses are lined up in a lane, under “Bus Lane: Buses Only” signs hanging from a traffic signal’s pole.

New York State authorized NYC to place cameras along bus lanes and on buses to catch violators on selected corridors.

Signs are posted along corridors where bus lane cameras are in use to warn drivers to keep out of bus lanes, except for allowed right turns and passenger pick-ups or drop offs.

Resources

Vision Zero NYC DOT & NYPD

This report contains summary data describing the annual core outputs (street design, enforcement and safety education) and core outcomes (traffic fatalities) relevant to Vision Zero, Mayor de Blasio’s initiative to reduce traffic fatalities and severe injuries to zero.

Download the Vision Zero 2018 NYC DOT and NYPD Accomplishments (March 2019 pdf) Download the Vision Zero 2017 NYC DOT and NYPD Accomplishments (January 2018 pdf) Download the Vision Zero 2016 NYC DOT and NYPD Accomplishments (February 2017 pdf)

Street Improvement Projects

As a key part of Vision Zero, NYC DOT has transformed New York City streets using a broad toolkit of interventions. Street Improvement Projects (SIPs) bring design improvements to over 100 locations annually.

Learn more about NYC DOT Current Projects