Who set speed limits on local highways?
The New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law gives the authority to set speed limits to villages and cities. Towns with populations of 50,000 or more, or defined as “suburban towns” in Section 3A of the Town Law, may also set their own speed limits. This authority extends to county roads within such towns. The New York State Department of Transportation has the authority to set speed limits on county and town roads that do not meet the requirements listed above.
To change speed limits on these roads, the town board and the county highway superintendent must file a joint request with the Regional Office of the New York State Department of Transportation to conduct a speed limit study.
There are some specific exceptions in Article 41.
Vehicle and Traffic Law
Click on the drop down menu for Laws and select Laws of New York & scroll down to VAT - Vehicle & Traffic
- For Towns – Article 41
- For Counties – Article 40
- For Cities and Villages - Article 39
- For Speed limits on county roads and town highways. – Article 37, Section 1622.
NYSDOT, Traffic Engineering Directive OS 03-002 -
Traffic Control Program: Speed Limits (pdf)
Traffic Sign Handbook for Local Roads, 2011 New York State Edition, September 2011 (pdf)