A proposed bill in the California State Senate would require certain vehicles to install speed-limiting devices.
State Sen. Scott Wiener (D) introduced legislation to mandate vehicles starting from model year 2027 to include ‘intelligent speed limiters.’
California Bill Would Require New Cars Come Equipped with Speed-Limiting Device https://t.co/zl7LKBD29a
— Gardner Goldsmith (@gardgoldsmith) January 25, 2024
If the proposed bill becomes law, the technology would prevent California drivers from going over 10 mph above the speed limit.
Wiener used the excuse of traffic injuries and deaths in California to justify the legislation.
“The alarming surge in road deaths is unbearable and demands an urgent response,” Wiener said in a statement.
“There is no reason for anyone to be going over 100 miles per hour on a public road, yet in 2020, California Highway Patrol issued over 3,000 tickets for just that offense. Preventing reckless speeding is a commonsense approach to prevent these utterly needless and heartbreaking crashes,” he continued.
California would become the first state to require new vehicles be equipped with speed governors — technology that limits how fast they can be driven — under legislation by San Francisco state Sen. Scott Wiener. https://t.co/oZVKvrRXqm
— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) January 24, 2024
The Hill reports:
Intelligent speed limiters — which the state senator referred to as “speed governors” — prevent vehicles from surpassing a certain speed, by harnessing GPS and on-board camera data to determine limits on a specific roadway.
The National Transportation Safety Board, Wiener’s office stressed, has repeatedly recommended the installation of such technologies in all new passenger vehicles. These devices will also be required in all cars sold in the European Union beginning this July.
“Preventing reckless speeding is a commonsense approach to prevent these utterly needless and heartbreaking crashes,” Wiener said.
In addition to its focus on intelligent speed limiters, S.B. 961 would also require the installation of side guards on trucks and trailers. Such guards, according to Wiener’s office, could help “reduce the risk of cars and bikes being pulled underneath the truck during a crash.”
This equipment — which would be installed on every truck or trailer that weighs more than 10,000 pounds — would need to be able to provide crash protection for a midsize car at any angle and any speed up to 40 mph, per the bill.
Sen. Wiener introduces a California bill to physically stop cars from going 10 mph over the speed limit https://t.co/ijkWgMXaVt
— Ben Owen🇺🇸 (@hrkbenowen) January 25, 2024
Unsurprisingly, there has been opposition to the proposed legislation.
The Los Angeles Times explains:
The legislation is likely to be met with some opposition from certain trucking groups that have similarly opposed federal legislation regarding speed governors.Advertisement
Todd Spencer, president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn., opposes the legislation, which he believes is not the correct way to make roads safer. Spencer advocates for increased police presence to monitor speeders, but said that changes in speed are sometimes necessary to drive safely.
“There are times drivers may want to speed up enough to switch lanes, to move away from certain unsafe situations. Our preference is for drivers to have the maximum ability to do that. We don’t think technology or even most well-intentioned regulations should obstruct that,” Spencer said.
But Wiener says surging traffic deaths in California — 4,407 people died in crashes in 2022, a 22% increase from 2019 — make the legislation a safety imperative.