California bill would mandate all new cars have device to ‘automatically limit’ speed to 10 mph over limit

by Andrew Mark Miller at

A California Democratic lawmaker has introduced a bill he calls “groundbreaking” that would require all new cars sold in the Golden State to be equipped with a device preventing them from traveling more than 10 mph over the speed limit.

State Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, introduced the Speeding and Fatality Emergency Reduction on California Streets Package this week that includes a provision that would require “new vehicles sold in California” to “install speed governors, smart devices that automatically limit the vehicle’s speed to 10 miles above the legal limit.”

“These changes are a head-on attempt to tackle vehicle fatalities, which are surging across the U.S. — and especially in California — amid a rise in reckless driving since the onset of the pandemic,” a press release from Wiener’s office explained. “A recent report from TRIP, a national transportation research group, found that traffic fatalities in California have increased by 22% from 2019 to 2022, compared to 19% for the U.S. overall. In 2022, 4,400 Californians died in car crashes.”

The bill package also “requires side underride guards on trucks, to reduce the risk of cars and bikes being pulled underneath the truck during a crash” and “physical improvements like new crosswalks and curb extensions on state-owned surface streets to better accommodate pedestrians, cyclists, the disability community, and transit users.”