There’s a new push to lower speed limits on city streets across the state.
In Texas, the posted speed limit on most urban streets is 30 miles per hour. That’s also the default speed limit when there’s no sign posted. But lawmakers in Austin are considering dropping it to 25 mph.
Supporters say it would reduce crashes and save lives.
In fact, a traffic study done by AAA says lowering speed limits from 30 to 25 miles per hour could increase a pedestrian’s odds of surviving being hit by a car by 43 percent.
Ben Sears is one of the reasons lawmakers are pushing for a change. The 10 year old was hit by a car in his Austin neighborhood last fall.
“Ben can open his eyes, he can look around. He can’t speak. He can’t eat,” said his aunt, Kathy Sokolic.
Sokolic said Ben was getting out of a car when he stepped in front of a truck.
Back in Houston, the change would be welcome by residents in the Oak Forest area of northwest Houston where drivers often speed through the neighborhood.
“I say about 40 percent go the speed limit. The rest go pretty fast,” Audrie Luna said.
“I think living on a street like this, they are small, they’re narrow, 25 miles per hour would definitely be better,” Melanie Thomas said.
The lower speed limit would also make a difference in braking distance. It could give a vehicle an extra 20 feet to stop in an emergency.