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California Bill Would Require Cars That Can’t Speed

A bill proposed in the California state Senate would require all new cars to come equipped with technology that limits their ability to speed.

The San Francisco Chronicle explains, “The bill, introduced Wednesday, would require cars and trucks of the 2027 model year or later that are built or sold in California to include speed governors that would prohibit motorists from driving more than ten mph over posted speed limits.”

The idea isn’t new. The federal government’s National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended that lawmakers require speed governors on new cars every year since 2017.

The NTSB, which investigates accidents in all forms of travel, can only make recommendations. Congress has never acted on its suggestion.

California may not act on it, either. Media sources sometimes report when a lawmaker proposes a controversial idea, but a proposal is often just that.

According to nonprofit news source CalMatters, California lawmakers introduced more than 2,600 bills last year. Just 890 – 34% – became law. Most proposed bills never even reach a vote on the floor of a legislature.

Speeding has grown in recent years. Traffic deaths hit a two-decade high in 2022. They came down slightly in 2023 but remain historically high. A separate report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently noted many dangerous behaviors, from drunk driving to driving without a seat belt on, have all risen. The California proposal, introduced by State Senator Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco), would exempt emergency vehicles.

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