New Law Mandates Cars Must Sound Alarm When Speeding

The bill requires that passive speed limiters be installed in all new cars manufactured or sold in California by 2032. Car makers are not going to make a car for just one state, which means speed limiters in all states. 

This is the crazy part – the bill before California lawmakers would require new cars sold in the state in coming years to beep a warning whenever drivers exceed the speed limit by at least 10 mph. California could eventually join the European Union in requiring all new cars to alert drivers when they break the speed limit, a proposal aimed at reducing traffic deaths that would likely impact motorists across the country should it become law.

This is crazy- this is literally absurd!

California Senate Bill 961 (SB 961) was passed by a 22-13 vote this week requiring that 50 percent of new vehicles manufactured or sold in California must have passive speed limiters installed by 2029. By 2032, that percentage increases to 100 percent.

Don’t think this is just impacting drivers in California, no car maker is going to make a car for one state, one car for the whole country. We know that if California makes the rules, 17 other states follow including New York, New Jersey, and many other states. 

Politicians are calling this a “passive speed limiter”. It is a system that warns drivers with audible and visual signals when their speed exceeds the posted speed limit by more than 10 miles per hour. SB 961 applies to all trucks, buses and passenger vehicles manufactured or sold in the state. Emergency vehicles are exempt from the passive speed limiter requirement. So literally, every new vehicles will be beeping the horn and flashing the lights, how can you separate that from a police officer or an emergency vehicle.

I’m sure that some of you are thinking this may be a good way to get through traffic by having my lights flashing and my horn beeping. The reality is that if everyone vehicle is speeding and moving along with traffic, no one’s going to move out of the way. It sounds great, but in reality, it sounds like a disaster, waiting to happen and another dumb government regulation.

SB 961 builds on similar requirements that go into effect in the European Union beginning in July, and it implements the National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendation to require speed limiters in all new vehicles. The bill is supported by the National Transportation Safety Board, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Automobile Association (AAA). It passed the Senate 22-13 and heads next to the Assembly, where it must pass by August 31.

“California, like the nation as a whole, is seeing a horrifying spike in traffic deaths, with thousands of drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians dying each year on our roads,” said Senator Scott Wiener who put forth the bill. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety’s (OTS) 2023 Traffic Safety Report, one third of all traffic fatalities in the state between 2017 and 2021 were speeding-related. 

A better solution is to tach people better driving skills, we teach new drivers to pass the test. Let’s create a more comprehensive driving program, teach people to drive such as they do at professional truck driving schools. 

This bill must now pass the Assembly by August 31. If it is passed and becomes law, it will make California the first state in the nation with a passive speed limiter requirement. However, they will not be the first government in the world to do so. Similar systems will be required in all vehicles sold in the EU beginning July of this year. Even here in the U.S., both the National Transportation Safety Board and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have recommended a federal passive speed limiter requirement be implemented. Or in other words, more nannies.

A passive speed limiter is also referred to as a “passive intelligent speed assistance system.” In the text of SB 961 that system is described as: “An integrated vehicle system that uses, at minimum, the GPS location of the vehicle compared with a database of posted speed limits, to determine the speed limit, and utilizes a brief, one-time visual and audio signal to alert the driver each time they exceed the speed limit by more than 10 miles per hour.” If the system has conflicting speed limits in the same area, the higher speed limit is used. Hopefully the system will be sophisticated enough to determine when a vehicle is at Laguna Seca for a track day. A driver out for an High Performance Driving Event day, or at your local drag track. 

SB 961 is not a law yet, but we would not bet against it. All cars will have these annoying noises when you accelerate, how long will it take for people to rip the system out, a company to create a bypass or car sales drop off. Let the free market decide

California often throws its weight around to influence national — and international — policy. California has set its own emission standards for cars for decades, rules that more than a dozen other states have also adopted. And when California announced it would eventually ban the sale of new gas-powered cars, major automakers soon followed with their own announcement to phase out fossil-fuel vehicles. 

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