The faster a vehicle is going, the more potential it has to injure or kill someone.
And that, in a nutshell, is why the Healthi Kids Coalition, a children's advocacy group, is asking City of Rochester officials to lower the speed limit on neighborhood streets from 30 mph to 25 mph.
Prior to the push, coalition staff asked parents across the city about what prevents them from letting their children walk to school or playgrounds. One of the most common reasons they gave was traffic, says Mike Bulger, healthy communities coordinator for the coalition.
Healthi Kids isn't the first group to ask the city to lower the speed limit on its neighborhood streets. Reconnect Rochester, some neighborhood leaders, and cycling advocates have also raised the idea. State Assembly member Harry Bronson and Senator Joe Robach have introduced bills that would give the city the authority to broadly set 25 mph limits on roads, but City Council needs to pass a resolution requesting the Assembly and Senate to act, Bulger says.
Street design and traffic enforcement are also critical to addressing neighborhood traffic woes. But most drivers will take a cue from lower limits and slow down. In doing so, they'll give themselves more time to spot and react to unexpected situations, such as cars suddenly backing out of driveways, cyclists dodging road hazards, or children stepping into streets when they shouldn't. Slower moving vehicles can also stop quicker.
And in the event that a car hits a person, it's less likely to cause serious or fatal injuries if it's travelling at 25 miles per hour than if it's going 30.