Citing the number of traffic deaths because of speeding, a San Francisco state senator wants new cars sold in the Golden State to go slower.
State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, introduced SB 961, requiring “that all new vehicles sold in California install speed governors, smart devices that automatically limit a vehicle’s speed to 10 miles above the legal limit.”
“The alarming surge in road deaths is unbearable and demands an urgent response,” Wiener said in a news release. “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.”
The bill would require car models starting in 2027 to install the limiting device. It would exempt emergency vehicles.
The intelligent speed limiter system would use the GPS location of the vehicle and compare it to a database of posted speed limits. Then it would automatically limit how fast the vehicle could travel.
Groups Offer Doubt, Support
The industry group Alliance for Automotive Innovation wants to see additional methods to reduce speeding deaths.
“We agree more can and should be done to reduce excessive speeding on roadways. This can be addressed by adopting a ‘safe system’ approach that focuses on expanded enforcement of speeding laws and driver education/awareness. There should also be a focus on funding and building transportation infrastructure that supports advanced vehicle safety technologies (like those suggested in the legislation) and a regulatory framework to enable automated driving systems designed to comply with speed limits,” an AAI spokesperson said.
The National Traffic Safety Board endorsed the idea of a limiting system last year.
Wiener cited safety figures that fatal crashes increase at higher speeds.
The bill would also require trucks weighing more than five tons to be equipped with underside guard rails.
Introduced on Jan. 23, the bill will be assigned to the Senate Rules Committee for further assignment and can be acted upon no earlier than Feb. 23.