Tags: car | alarm | speeding | california
OPINION

New Bill Mandates Car Alarm When Speeding

New Bill Mandates Car Alarm When Speeding
California State Senator Scott Wiener, who has sponsored a bill to deter drivers from speeding with an automatic alarm when they drive 10 miles or more over the speed limit, adddresses the SF Chronicle Editorial Board in San Francisco. (Russell Yip/AP/2018 file)

Lauren Fix By Wednesday, 29 May 2024 07:23 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

California is considering passing a bill requiring that passive speed limiters be installed in all new cars manufactured or sold in the state by 2032. It stands to reason that car manufacturers aren't  going to reconfigure cars with speeding alarms 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 last week requiring that 50% of new vehicles manufactured or sold in California must have passive speed limiters installed by 2029. By 2032, that percentage increases to 100%.

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 vehicle will be beeping the horn and flashing its headlights. How will drivers possibly be able to distinguish this spectacle 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 your lights flashing and your horn beeping. The reality is that if every 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 yet another dumb government regulation.

SB 961 builds on similar requirements that go into effect in the European Union beginning in July, and is supported by the National Transportation Safety Board, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Automobile Association (AAA). It passed the California 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 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 teach people better driving skills, right from the beginning, right when they take their initial driver's test. Let’s create a more comprehensive driving program, and teach people to drive just like 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.

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 a High Performance Driving Event day, or at your local drag track.

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.

Is a kill switch that stops a car from moving next? Are these the solutions that Americans want for their vehicles?

Rather than limiting drivers' choices through "Big Brother," overreaching laws, a better way, really, would be to let the free market decide.

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Lauren Fix, The Car Coach is a nationally recognized automotive expert, media guest, journalist, author, keynote speaker and television host. A trusted car expert, Lauren provides an insider’s perspective on a wide range of automotive topics and safety issues for both the auto industry and consumers. Her analysis is honest and straightforward.

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LaurenFix
California is considering passing a bill requiring that passive speed limiters be installed in all new cars manufactured or sold in the state by 2032.
car, alarm, speeding, california
912
2024-23-29
Wednesday, 29 May 2024 07:23 AM
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