SAN FRANCISCO, CA – If a new bill in California proposed last week were to be eventually be signed into law, it would mandate that new vehicles be installed with tech that would prevent them from being able to speed anywhere within the confines of the state.
The Speeding and Fatality Emergency Reduction on California Streets – otherwise known as SAFER California Streets – is a package of bills introduced on January 23. Contained within that package is SB 961, a bill authored by state senator Scott Wiener that, if passed, would require all new vehicles either built or sold in the state of California – starting from model year 2027 onward – to be installed with devices that would prevent them from being able to go more than 10 mph over the posted speed limit.
Given the fact that the maximum speed limit posted within the confines of California is 70 mph, this means that the fastest any vehicle would be able to go would be 80 mph.
The proposed passive device is known as an “intelligent speed limiter system” that would electronically prevent a driver from exceeding any posted speed limit by more than 10 mph in any given area within the state.
This limitation would not apply to emergency vehicles – such as police cars and ambulances – and the bill does include verbiage indicating that the device could be temporarily disabled by a driver in certain situations, although what situations might be applicable are not described. In addition, the speed limiter could be also disabled at the discretion of the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol as well.
Senator Wiener dismissed criticism that the proposed bill was an example of extreme governmental overreach, stating that he felt that the public would support the bill because it could potentially result in safer streets, citing a study that shows a 22 percent jump in California traffic fatalities between 2019 and 2022.
I don’t think it’s at all an overreach, and I don’t think most people would view it as an overreach,” he said. “We have speed limits, I think most people support speed limits because people know that speed kills.”
If the bill is signed into law, it would represent the first of its kind in the entire country, begging the question of which states could potentially follow suit in its wake.
Christopher Boyle is an investigative journalist, videographer, reporter and writer for SEARCHEN NETWORKS® as well as other independent news and media organizations in the United States. Christopher works on a wide variety of topics and fields, has been featured in print and online in a variety of publications, from local to national, and helps keep a keen-eye on what’s happening in the automotive world for Auto Buyers Market.