May 9, 2024
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Joins New York City Officials and Activists to Celebrate the Signing of Sammy’s Law

Governor Hochul Joins New York City Officials and Activists to Celebrate the Signing of Sammy’s Law

Law Allows New York City to Lower Speed Limit and Save Lives

Governor Kathy Hochul today was joined by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York City officials, and activists to celebrate the passage of Sammy’s Law as part of the FY2025 Budget Agreement. After a decade of advocacy, this law will allow New York City to lower its speed limit to 20 miles per hour on nearly every road, which will reduce the risk of death or life-threatening injury in a crash. The legislation was named for Sammy Cohen Eckstein, a 12-year-old child who died in 2013 after he was hit by a driver in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

“Too many children have been hit and killed by cars speeding through our city streets, shattering families and traumatizing communities," Governor Hochul said. “We are celebrating the passage of Sammy's Law which will empower New York City to take back its streets and save lives."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/M1OnBkvpmoI

With the passage of Sammy’s Law, New York City can now lower its speed limits via local law, with exception for major thoroughfares in the outer boroughs. Lowering speed limits is a demonstrated method to reduce the risk of death or injury during vehicular crashes and saves lives. Signing Sammy’s Law builds on Governor Hochul’s work to improve roadway safety across the State, expanding camera programs near schools and key intersections, dedicating funding towards traffic calming programs, and establishing New York State’s first Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program.

Too many children have been hit and killed by cars speeding through our city streets, shattering families and traumatizing communities

Governor Kathy Hochul

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, “No parent should go through the heartbreak that Sammy’s parents have endured, but Sammy’s Law will help save lives and prevent serious injuries by allowing us to set appropriate speed limits on New York City streets. Whether someone is crossing the street with a child, riding a bike, or driving behind the wheel of a car, New Yorkers deserve to be safe on our streets. I applaud Governor Hochul and our partners in the state Legislature for their leadership giving us the tools we need to increase safety on our roadways.”

Families for Safe Streets Co-Founder and Mother of Sammy Cohen Eckstein, Amy Cohen said, “Lower speed limits save lives, and I am overjoyed that today, Governor Hochul is signing Sammy’s Law. This means so much to not only my family, but countless families across New York who’ve been fighting for this for years. I’m proud to share this victory with all of the members of Families for Safe Streets, elected officials, and community organizations who joined us in this fight. Together, we will continue the fight until no New Yorker has to know the unimaginable pain of losing a loved one to traffic violence.”

Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris said, “New York City needs every tool to end traffic violence. Today, Governor Hochul is signing Sammy’s Law, a critical tool to keep people safe. This moment would not have been possible without the tireless advocacy of Amy Cohen and countless other members of Families for Safe Streets who turned their terrible loss into powerful advocacy. Our work doesn’t end here, and we will continue organizing until everyone can travel around New York City without fear of death or serious injury.”

Governor Hochul Joins New York City Officials and Activists to Celebrate the Signing of Sammy’s Law

State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal said, “Sammy’s Law is a game changer for street safety because it will finally allow New York City to set its own speed limits. In 2020, I introduced this common-sense traffic safety legislation in memory of Sammy Cohen Eckstein, a young man who was fatally struck by a speeding driver just months before his thirteenth birthday. Since Sammy’s tragic death, his mother Amy Cohen has been a relentless champion for street safety through the organization she co-founded, Families for Safe Streets, and has inspired dozens of other family members who’ve lost loved ones to traffic violence to advocate for new traffic policies to save lives. New Yorkers owe them a deep debt of gratitude for helping change the paradigm of traffic safety in Albany. I’m grateful for Governor Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Mayor Adams and my legislative partner Assembly Member Rosenthal for championing this important legislation and helping get it across the finish line.”

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal said, "Sammy Cohen Eckstein and countless others have had their lives cut short by reckless drivers, but with the passage of Sammy's Law we will be able to prevent future families from having to experience the pain of losing a loved one in this way. I am incredibly proud to have sponsored this legislation and am eager to see it implemented in areas throughout the city where crashes lead us to the sites where web need to reduce speeds. No family should ever have to experience what these families have, but I am eternally grateful to all the bereaved families and to Sammy's mother, Amy Cohen, for turning her pain into passion and not giving up until this measure was signed into law. The governor, Families for Safe Streets and all the advocates know that lower speed limits save lives and this law will undoubtedly do just that."

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640

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