Seattle to Lower Speed Limit To Try Reducing Traffic Deaths

In an effort to increase safety on city streets and decrease the number of traffic deaths, the city of Seattle has decided it will lower speed limits to 25 mph on city streets in the coming year. This is not only important to our Seattle movers, but also our customers. That’s why our Seattle local movers have broken down this new traffic regulation and discuss what residents can expect in 2020.

Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the plan on December 10th and explained how the lower Seattle speed limits are intended to prevent traffic accidents with the ultimate goal of eliminating fatalities and serious injuries caused by traffic collisions by 2030. This plan is called Vision Zero.

“We must make our sidewalks and roads safe for everyone – too many of our residents have lost their lives in traffic incidents, often the most vulnerable. That is unacceptable.” – Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan1

This lower Seattle speed limit regulation represents a necessary step in the right direction especially after Seattle experienced one of its worst years for traffic deaths in 2019.

Seattle Traffic Deaths Were High in 2019

In 2019, Seattle saw one of the worst years for traffic deaths this decade with twice as many people dying due to traffic accidents this year than in 2018. According to data from the Seattle Department of Transportation, there were a total of 178 serious injuries and deaths caused by traffic collisions in 2019, which was less than the 207 total serious injuries and deaths that happened in 2018.

However, the number of fatalities increased from 13 traffic deaths in 2018 to 25 traffic deaths in 2019.2 Older pedestrians are particularly vulnerable.

“Pedestrians account for the majority of victims in fatal collisions in Seattle. Pedestrians make up just 4% of total collisions annually but more than 50% of fatalities. And we know that older pedestrians are more at risk. In 2019, the median age of pedestrians killed in collisions is 62 years old.” – VISION ZERO 2019 UPDATE2

Seattle Speed Limits to Expect in 2020

By 2020, the traffic officials will be enforcing a lower speed limit of 25 mph on all the city’s arterial streets which are busy streets with a dividing line. According to the Seattle Department of Transportation, more than 90% of severe collisions occur on arterials streets which carry the heist volumes of people walking, biking, driving, skating, or riding transit. More than 80% of arterials streets in Seattle currently have speed limits higher than 30 miles per hour.2 This change in Seattle speed limits will hopefully make the streets a safer place for both pedestrians and drivers.


  1. KOMO News – Seattle to drop city speed limits to 25 mph, double red light cameras
  2. – Vision Zero 2019 Update
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