California’s New Bill Plans to Curb Speeding in Vehicles

California’s Proposed Legislation: Speed-Curbing Technology in Vehicles

To boost road safety and address the increasing number of traffic-related deaths, a California legislator has introduced a new bill, SB 961, as a crucial component of the Speeding and Fatality Emergency Reduction on California Streets (SAFER California Streets) legislative package. This proposed law makes it mandatory to equip certain vehicles sold or manufactured within the state with speed-limiting technology.

SB 961: The Speed-Limiter Mandate

If passed into law, every vehicle manufactured and sold in California starting from model year 2027 must be equipped with speed-curbing technology. The core function of this technology is to electronically restrict a vehicle’s speed, preventing the driver from surpassing the speed limit by more than 10 miles per hour. For instance, when a highway’s speed limit is 65 miles per hour, vehicles equipped with this technology would be limited to a maximum speed of 75 miles per hour. This proactive approach aims to reduce the likelihood of accidents caused by excessive speeding.

Exemptions and Driver Control

Emergency vehicles that require higher speeds for their essential duties will be exempt from the mandate. Non-emergency vehicles may also be exempted if the California Highway Patrol (CHP) grants permission to temporarily disable the technology under specific criteria. Additionally, the bill stipulates that drivers can override the speed-limiting technology temporarily, allowing them to accelerate when necessary.

Rising Traffic Fatalities in California

The need for this legislation becomes even more apparent when considering the alarming statistics related to traffic deaths in California. According to a recent report from TRIP, a private, nonprofit group, traffic fatalities in the state increased by a staggering 22% from 2019 to 2022, surpassing the 19% national average increase. Another study found that speeding contributed to one-third of all traffic deaths in the state between 2017 and 2021.

Beyond Speed Limitation: Safety Enhancements for Large Trucks

In addition to addressing the issue of excessive speeding, SB 961 mandates that large trucks built or sold in California be equipped with side guards. These guards are designed to prevent smaller vehicles and cyclists from being pulled under a truck in the event of a collision. This safety measure seeks to mitigate the severity of significant commercial vehicle accidents, often resulting in catastrophic outcomes.

Past Attempt and Future Prospects

Similar legislation was previously proposed in California. In 2019, the legislature approved a comparable measure, but it was subsequently vetoed by Governor Gavin Newsom. The reintroduction of this bill signals a renewed effort to implement speed-limiting technology in vehicles and prioritize road safety.

If the proposed bill becomes law, it would make California the first state in the nation to require speed-limiting devices and potentially herald a substantial shift in how vehicles navigate California’s roads. As this legislation progresses through the legislative process, it is expected to ignite ongoing debates and conversations about the delicate balance between individual freedom and public road safety in California.

California Car Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento car accident lawyer. In times of uncertainty and distress following an accident, our California personal injury law firm is here to provide the guidance and support you need. With a deep commitment to our client’s well-being, we have a dedicated team ready to fight for your rights and help you navigate the complexities of personal injury cases. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll accidents can take on individuals and families. To take the first step toward seeking justice and compensation, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our experienced attorneys are just a phone call away, and we offer free, friendly advice to help you understand your legal options. Contact us today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400, and let us stand by your side during this challenging time. Your well-being and the pursuit of justice are our top priorities.

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Photo by Ludovic Charlet on Unsplash

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