Why yes, they are coming for your fast cars, actually. This issue has been the topic of discussion for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Various European countries have implemented speed limiters for new vehicles to try to reduce violations. And now, a California lawmaker intends to mandate new cars to have a speed limiter as well.
As if the 49ers winning the NFC Championship wasn’t enough to make Americans feel uneasy.
California Speed Limiter Bill: Details
According to the San Francisco Standard, a California Lawmaker announced a bill Wednesday that would require new passenger vehicles and large trucks sold in California to be equipped with technology that would prevent them from going more than 10 mph above the speed limit. State Sen. Scott Wiener (yes, that appears to be his real name) announced the legislation as part of a larger package of street safety proposals in response to surging traffic deaths in the U.S.
“We have seen far too many people being seriously injured and dying on our streets,” Said State Sen. Scott Wiener, representative of San Francisco. This is a city that hosted Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping, has become overrun with homelessness, drug abuse, theft, and violent crime over the years, and thus has observed a retreat in commerce from such unfavorable statistics.
Perhaps there are more pressing matters than speed limits?
If passed, Senate Bill 961 would require all vehicles manufactured or sold in California to have a speed governor installed starting with the 2027 model year. While New York has been experimenting with an Intelligent Speed Assistance Technology (ISA) system, California could be the first state to mandate this technology. These devices use a vehicle’s global positioning system (GPS) location with a database of speed limits to figure out what speed a car should be traveling at; it then ensures the vehicles maintain “safe” and legal speeds based on this information.
According to the proposal, the speed-limiting ISA device California would implement would use a passive system. This means it will warn a driver when the vehicle exceeds the speed limit through visual, sound, or haptic alerts, but the driver is still responsible for slowing down the car. Drivers could temporarily override the speed governor device if a given situation requires a short burst of excess speeds. Naturally, the requirement for speed governors wouldn’t apply to emergency vehicles.
On another front, California Sen. Roger Niello, Republican Vice-Chair of the Transportation Committee, stated that: “mandating speed-limiting controls on all vehicles, when the vast majority of drivers are not reckless, is simply government overreach. The solution is more law enforcement on our streets with severe consequences to those who completely disregard traffic laws.”
An average of 3,933 people were killed in California traffic fatalities each year between 2017 and 2021, according to the state Office of Traffic Safety. About a third of those deaths came from speeding-related fatalities. We’re sure it has absolutely nothing to do with literally anything else, such as poor driver’s education, operating under the influence, or poorly maintained vehicles.
San Francisco has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the past decade working to eliminate traffic deaths; however, despite these efforts, the number of fatalities remains relatively unchanged.