SALT LAKE CITY — Drivers in Salt Lake City neighborhoods will need to slow down even further starting Wednesday with the implementation of a lower speed limit just weeks ahead of the new school year.
Following May's unanimous vote by the Salt Lake City Council, signs marking the change to a 20 miles per hour speed limit will begin to appear on over 400 miles of local streets, covering 70% of the city's public roadways.
The new speed limit is 5 miles per hour slower than the previous limit, with hopes that the change will help lower the number of auto-pedestrian accidents.
"These signs will signal to drivers in our City that we want our kids to get to school safely. We want our neighbors to make it home from work," tweeted Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall.
The mayor and other public officials attended a ceremony where the first sign was changed outside Parkview Elementary School.
So far in 2022, there have been nearly 100 incidents involving vehicles and pedestrians, with five fatalities.
Statistics show that in the event of a crash, drivers traveling under 30 miles per hour have better odds of surviving a crash or simply having minor injuries.
"When you can slow down the speed, you have more time to react," explained Salt Lake City police chief Mike Brown. "That young child may still dart in front of you, but you'll have more time to perceive it, react and stop.
Over the next several weeks, 575 signs will be installed marking the new speed limit.
Brown said that officers will not write tickets for minor infractions of the speed limit and will treat stops by educating the driver.
"It might take you a few seconds longer to get where you are going, but it will save lives," said Mendenhall.