The latest legislation from SF’s state Senator Scott Wiener takes aim at speeding drivers, and calls for all cars sold in California to have devices that don’t allow drivers to go more than 10 MPH over the speed limit.
It might sounds like unreliable technology and wild government overreach to mandate cars have devices that don’t let you exceed the speed limit. It’s not. The devices are called “speed governors” or “speed regulators,” and according to Bloomberg, they’ve been around since 1923. That year, voters in Cincinnati, Ohio had a ballot referendum on whether to require them in cars. And per Bloomberg, “After a massive lobbying campaign from auto interests, the referendum failed.”
But now 100 years later, SF’s state Senator Scott Wiener is campaigning for them again. The Chronicle reports Wiener has introduced a bill that would require speed governors in cars that would not allow them to go more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit.
“The alarming surge in road deaths is unbearable and demands an urgent response,” said Senator Wiener. “There is no reason for anyone to be going over 100 miles per hour on a public road, yet in 2020, California Highway Patrol issued over 3,000 tickets for just that offense. Preventing reckless speeding is a commonsense approach to prevent these utterly needless and heartbreaking crashes.”
These speed governors do exist in modern form. New Hyundai models are already equipped with them, and some Volvo models won’t let the driver exceed 112 miles per hour. Still, Wiener’s bill is likely to face massive opposition from automakers, and obviously, people who like to drive fast.
Highway safety groups have asked for federal legislation requiring these devices, and the National Transportation Safety Board has asked federal lawmakers to require cars have speed governors that at least notify drivers that they are speeding. But these previous efforts have gone nowhere fast.