5-speed listening (Level 3)

Lower speed limit for New York City



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Drivers in New York City will have to drive more slowly from Friday. The city has introduced a new speed limit of 25 mph (40 kph). The old limit was 30 mph (about 48 kph). The new law will apply to about 90 per cent of the city's streets. The city's Department of Transportation hopes the lower speed limit will make people drive more carefully and reduce traffic accidents and deaths. The city's mayor, Bill de Blasio, said he wanted to improve traffic safety and end pedestrian deaths. He said: "There's a real consensus in this town that we need to have people drive more carefully, more safely and slower for the protection of our kids, our seniors." Other people say the limit will make drivers angry and increase accidents.

Road speed limits are used in most countries to set the maximum speed for cars, trucks, buses, motorbikes, etc. They can also set the minimum speed. The first maximum speed limit in the world was the 10 mph (16 kph) limit introduced in the United Kingdom in 1861. The highest speed limit in the world is 140 kph (87 mph) in Poland and Bulgaria. Some of the world's roads have no speed limit. Perhaps the most famous of these are the Autobahns in Germany. In 2006, German police said the average speed on one part of the Autobahn was 142 kph (88 mph). The World Health Organisation (WHO) said that around 1.24 million people die each year in traffic accidents. This number could fall if people drove more slowly.

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