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How well are drivers following NYC’s new 25 mph speed limit?

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NEW YORK CITY (PIX11) -- Get ready to hit the brakes if you drive in New York City.

The default NYC speed limit dropped Friday morning on all city streets unless otherwise posted.

That means if you don't see a speed limit sign, the limit is understood to be 25, down from a default speed limit of 30. It's all part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero initiative, meant to cut down on traffic deaths.

"When you lower the speed limit from 30 to 25, if there's a collision, you cut in half the chances that it will result in a fatality," Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said.

The DOT on Thursday showed off a few of the 3,000 signs that will hang throughout the city by the end of the year. The agency will hang 89 signs at key gateways to the city overnight.

Last year, there were 294 traffic deaths in New York City -- the highest total since 2006. Compare that to 124 traffic deaths in Chicago, or 264 in all of  Sweden, the country that inspired de Blasio's plan.

Park Slope resident Adam Pacelli knows about traffic fatalities first hand.

"I've actually known three people over the course of my life, being born and raised in Park Slope, who have been killed either in the crosswalk or on the sidewalk from cars going off the road or speeding, or whatever they were doing," Pacelli said.

He thinks there are definite advantages to driving 25 miles per hour.

"You have a lot of room to compensate and to overcome any human error when going that speed," he said.

Some city drivers are worried the lower speed limit is just an excuse to ticket drivers and raise revenue for the city, but the DOT says that's not the case.

"It's not our goal to play 'gotcha.' It's our goal to make the streets safer and we're going to do that carefully and thoughtfully," Trottenberg said.