Research has shown that there is a strong correlation between vehicle speed and the severity of pedestrian injuries and fatalities. Lower vehicle speeds can prevent many crashes from occurring, and reduce the severity of crashes that do occur. The higher the speed of the vehicle, the less likely you are to survive a crash.
Safety is the number one priority of the City of Tampa. The City has adopted Vision Zero, a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. This philosophy acknowledges that human error is a primary cause of traffic crashes, and that streets should be designed to minimize risk of injury or death, and function in a manner that is forgiving so that when someone makes a mistake, it should not lead to a severe injury or fatality.
Past Speed Limit Reductions
Over the past several years, the City has been re-evaluating the posted speeds of higher speed roadways. Most fatalities and crashes in the City occur on these higher speed roads.In many cases, the City has reduced posted speeds in conjunction with other safety enhancements such as reduced lane widths, the addition of bicycle facilities, pedestrian crosswalks, on-street parking, and/or other traffic calming measures. The City has not reduced speed limits arbitrarily, but rather with the specific goal of reducing the number and severity of crashes. To date, the City has reduced posted speeds on more than 17 miles of roadways within City limits as summarized in Table 1. The reduced posted speeds produce great safety benefits with little to no effect on vehicle delay.
Future Speed Limit Reductions
The City is evaluating all remaining City and County roads within City limits that have posted speeds of 40 or 45 MPH, as well as several roads that have posted speeds of 35 MPH. The decision to reduce a speed limit is determined in accordance with the FDOT Speed Zoning Manual and based upon engineering judgement, traffic investigations, the City’s Walk‐Bike Plan and Pedestrian Safety Plan. The City is resetting posted speeds as roadway projects are completed under our Complete Streets, Safety Improvements, Traffic Calming, Roadway Resurfacing, and Signing & Marking Programs.
Citywide Speed Limit Reduction Program Fact Sheet (Updated February 2020)