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Activists Hope To Slow Speeding Drivers With Fake '20-MPH Speed Limit' Signs

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) -- A grass roots movement has taken the matter of stopping speeding drivers and reducing pedestrian fatalities into its own hands.

On Bergen Street in Brooklyn, a truck raced down the street in excess of the 30-mph city speed limit, and without question in excess of the 20-mph limit posted in the neighborhood.

However, the 20-mph sign is a fake. It wasn't posted by the city, but as part of an activist campaign aimed at slowing down traffic and reducing pedestrian tragedies, CBS 2's Steve Langford reported.

The group behind the campaign said that ten communities in four boroughs put up over 100 signs over the weekend.

"Twenty is ideal for saving lives. If you're hit by a car going 30-mph you have a 50 percent chance of dying. If you're hit by a car going 20-mph you have a 95 percent chance of surviving," Keegan Stephan said.

From Prospect Heights to TriBeCa and the Upper West Side activists claim they are responding to an urgent public safety need.

"We mapped out where communities had applied for Slow Zones and were rejected or were still waiting for ground breaking on their projects," Stephan said.

The Department of Transportation told CBS 2 that they are committed to making the streets safer.

"DOT is committed to installing additional slow zones and working with stakeholders across the city and in Albany to lower New York City's speed limit and make our streets safer for everyone using them," the DOT said.

As a rule the city takes down unauthorized signs.

Reaction to the pseudo speed limits has been mixed.

"I agree with that 100 percent. Too many people getting killed," Anthony Rojas said.

"It's not a good idea because normally on a residential area like this it's supposed to be like 30 or 40 mph," Mario Duque said.

The NYPD did not immediately respond to inquiries by CBS 2 regarding the legality of the signs.

Activists said that they want to work with the DOT and that they are optimistic about the De Blasio administration's city streets safety plans.

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