Speed Limit Reduction on Local Roads
MAPC, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), conducted a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) that examined the potential health impacts of House Bill 1808 (2011-2012), which proposed to lower the default speed limits on local roads from 30 miles per hour (mph) to 25 mph. The aim is to reduce vehicle speed on local neighborhood roads to a limit that is safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and children.
Why it's important
The passage of this proposed legislation would have far-reaching and potentially important public health impacts. For example lower default speed limits may:
- prevent fatalities and serious injuries to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians;
- promote active transportation by making local roads feel more hospitable to cyclists and pedestrians; and
- change the composition of both near-roadway and regional pollutants, thereby potentially affecting cardiovascular and respiratory morbidity and mortality across the Commonwealth.