California Looks To Set Speed Limits On Cars

A law in California would require all new vehicles sold or manufactured in the state to include some sort of speed-limiting device.

According to the measure, certain automobiles would be required to have an intelligent speed restriction fitted beginning with the 2027 model year. With this speed restriction installed, the car could only go up to 10 mph faster than the posted limit. This provision is included in the text of Senate Bill 961, which Democratic state senator Scott Wiener presented. Under this measure, the California Highway Patrol Commissioner would have the power to deactivate the system on non-emergency cars that meet specific requirements, and such vehicles would be excused from the obligation altogether.

A global positioning system (GPS) connection to a database of speed limits and the ability to detect the vehicle’s position are prerequisites for the device’s operation. That way, we can be confident that the motorist isn’t over ten mph over the limit. This technology to limit speed already exists, according to Wiener, as described on X. Not only is the EU moving in this route, but the NTSB has also suggested making it mandatory across the country. He said fewer people will get hurt or killed in California car accidents due to the law and similar legislation that will increase road safety.

A provision in the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure package prompted Wiener to introduce his measure. Incorporating technology that can passively and correctly detect a driver’s blood alcohol content is a legal requirement for all future vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was tasked with creating a rule by November 2024, although the exact requirements for the device were not disclosed. If the agency decides to submit a report to Congress, it can delay the rule.

Reportedly, the new law aims to address the alarming increase in road deaths. Between 2019 and 2022, a 22% reported rise was reported in the Golden State alone. As stated in the press release of SB-961, according to the national transportation research group TRIP. A different analysis from U.C. Berkley’s SafeTREC indicates that between 2017 and 2021, there was a considerable 30 percent rise in the number of deaths in California that were caused by speeding. During the same time, there was a nearly 24% increase in these fatalities nationwide.

Along with the speed governor and side guard bills, Wiener has also sponsored S.B.960, a traffic safety measure requiring the state transportation agency Caltrans, to make physical improvements to road surfaces controlled by the state.