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City Council Asks For Power To Lower Speed Limits

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The New York City Council is asking the state Legislature for authority to lower the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 across the city.

The City Council passed a "home rule'' measure Wednesday, asking Albany for the right to pass legislation that would apply to the five boroughs. Currently, the speed limit is decided by the state.

Bill Reducing City's Default Speed Limit Introduced In State Senate

The measure passed the Council on Wednesday by a vote of 38-2. Eleven members did not vote.

The state Senate has signaled support for the measure, but passage is not certain before the legislative session ends this week. The Assembly is considering a similar measure.

City Council Asks For Power To Lower Speed Limits

"We need drivers to be more responsible,"said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. "Lowering the speed limit makes our streets safer."

"It's a moral imperative to pass this bill. Everyone can be slightly inconvenienced to save a life. If you get to your destination 30 seconds later and you didn't kill someone, I'd say it's well worth it," said Amy Cohen, whose 12-year-old son was struck and killed last October in Brooklyn. "A five mile per hour reduction is predicted to save 70 lives and prevent 6,500 people from being injured in traffic."

The initiative is part of a push by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Council to improve traffic safety and reduce pedestrian deaths.

Last month, the City Council approved a package of traffic safety bills, which included the creation of more slow zones and tougher penalties on reckless motorists and cab drivers.

Last year, 286 people were killed in traffic accidents in New York City, nearly as many as those who were homicide victims.

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