Mayor Eric Garcetti held a signing ceremony Monday for an ordinance that will lower speed limits on 177 miles of streets across Los Angeles. The ordinance, which was drafted by the City Attorney and approved by the City Council, was a direct result of the passage of AB-43, a state bill led by Assemblymember Laura Friedman that grants greater authority to cities to control speed limits.
“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,” said Garcetti. “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.”
Garcetti and his team worked closely with Assemblymember Friedman to help shape the bill and shepherd it through the legislative process. The bill specifically targets speed limit reductions on streets with high rates of traffic fatalities and severe injuries or heavily-trafficked pedestrian and bicycle routes. Under this framework, the locations of the streets impacted by the ordinance will see speed limit reductions consistent with the City’s Vision Zero program, which specifically designates the City’s High-Injury Network.
“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 percent uptick in traffic fatalities in the city in 2021,” said Assemblymember Laura Friedman. “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.”
Before the passage of AB-43, cities were required to conduct a “speed survey” to measure the typical speed of the majority of vehicles in order to set an enforceable speed limit for a city street. During the last round of speed surveys completed in 2018, the City was required by the state to raise speed limits on roughly 94 miles. After signing the new ordinance, the city will have more autonomy to make its own decisions around speed limits and focus on pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorist safety.
“We know speed kills, and traffic deaths have increased despite our investments and engineering work,” said LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds. “With this ordinance in place, we can begin reducing speed limits on streets in Los Angeles to common sense levels that will save lives.”