California Bill Calls For Automakers To Install Speeding Caps on New Cars by 2027

Excessive speeding on public roads can be dangerous both to the person behind the wheel, as well as to everyone else on the road. To put the brakes on traffic-related fatalities in California, a new bill is being proposed that would require new vehicles to be equipped with speeding caps that would prevent them from exceeding speed limits by no more than 10 mph. The max posted speed limit in California is 70 mph, meaning anything over 80 mph would be out of the question.

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What Does This New California Bill Involve?

Known as the Speed and Fatality Emergency Reduction on California Streets (or SAFER California Streets), this is a package of bills that calls for speed governors to be installed on new vehicles built or sold in the state of California starting with the 2027 model year. These speed governors would be required to have an “intelligent speed limiter system” that would prevent the driver from exceeding speed limits on public roads.

The only vehicles exempt from this technology would be emergency vehicles like ambulances, police vehicles, and fire trucks.

The bill also mentions that the passive device would also have to be capable of being disabled by the driver, though the circumstances in which this would be a necessity are unclear. The bill also notes that the car manufacturers would also be able to fully disable these speed-limiters. The commissioner of the California Highway Patrol could also authorize the disabling of speed limiters.

Why Is This Bill Being Proposed?

The SAFER California Streets legislation is being proposed to reduce the number of traffic fatalities, which have reportedly increased by 22 percent from 2019 to 2022. This data is according to TRIP, a national transportation research group. A similar report by SafeTREC of UC Berkley discovered that the number of speeding-related deaths in the state has increased by approximately 30 percent from 2017 to 2021. This would translate to an increase of about 24 percent on a national scale.

“Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for kids in California in large part because vehicles are now faster and more dangerous than ever,” says Robin Pam, an organizer with KidSafe SF. “We’ve all seen situations on our streets where a vehicle is speeding down a busy street with vulnerable people close by — at best it’s unsettling, and at worst people lose their lives.”

If this bill passes, California will be the first U.S. state to have new vehicles be required to have speeding-limiters equipped. Of course, it could also open the door for other states to follow suit as well.

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