New California Bill Passed Requiring New Cars to Beep If You Exceed the Speed Limit

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The California Senate has recently approved SB 961, a bill that mandates the installation of “passive speed limiters” in all new cars sold or manufactured in California by 2032. Introduced by Senator Scott Wiener of San Francisco, this legislation positions California as a pioneer in the United States for implementing such a safety feature, mirroring a similar law set to be enacted in the European Union in July.

According to Senator Wiener’s office, these passive speed limiters, also known as passive Intelligent Speed Assistance systems, alert drivers with both audible and visual signals if they exceed the speed limit by more than ten miles per hour. Unlike some speed control systems, these limiters allow drivers to maintain control and can be easily overridden when necessary.

Senator Wiener emphasized that this measure addresses a significant rise in traffic-related fatalities, which has been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The California Office of Traffic Safety’s 2023 report highlighted increases in fatalities involving impaired driving, motorcyclists, and teenage drivers between 2020 and 2021. Wiener attributes these preventable deaths to policy decisions that have permitted unsafe road conditions.

SB 961 stipulates that by 2032, all passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses in California must have these passive speed limiters, with a phased implementation requiring 50% compliance by 2029. The legislation, which passed the Senate with a vote of 22-13, excludes emergency vehicles from this requirement and now awaits approval from the State Assembly, which must occur by August 31.


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