A traffic officer directs traffic in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 13, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
New legislation in California could restrict the speed of new cars from driving 10 mph over posted speed limits, if passed, for most new vehicles beginning with 2027 models.
The bill, Senate Bill 961
, which would make California the first state in the nation to install “intelligent speed limiters” in new cars, excluding emergency vehicles, was authored by state Senator Scott Wiener (D–San Francisco) and announced in a Jan. 24 press 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,” he said in the announcement.
The speed limiter technology would use GPS locations and a database of posted speed limits to adjust drivers’ speed based on their whereabouts, according to the bill. The technology would be used on every passenger vehicle, truck, or bus in California.
Data from a 2023 report from the California Office of Traffic Safety shows roughly one-third of all deaths due to traffic collisions between 2017 and 2021 were associated with speeding, noted the press release.
According to Mr. Wiener’s office, all vehicles in the European Union starting in July will be required to have similar speed limiters installed, which would warn drivers when they have exceeded posted speed limits “through alarms or accelerator resistance.”
In addition, the National Transportation Safety Board has previously recommended car manufactures install speed limiters, according to the legislator’s office, and has named 18 car manufactures in the United States that currently use some form of the technology, including Ford, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Nissan.
Side Guards on Trucks
Under the new bill, large trucks such as semis would also be required to install side guards “to reduce the risk of cars and bikes being pulled underneath the truck during a crash,” said Mr. Wiener’s office.
Existing law in California already requires trucks, tractors, and trailers with three or more axles and weighing more than 10,000 pounds to install rear guards to prevent such “underrides” by smaller vehicles, according to the bill text.
Previous efforts to require side guards have been contested by trucking companies, according to the announcement.
If the bill passes, regular inspections of trucks’ side guards would be required, and the California Highway Patrol would also need to inspect them after accidents, according to the bill text.