Proposed California bill aims to electronically restrict cars from going 10 mph over speed limit

SAN FRANCISCO — California Senator Scott Wiener is introducing a new set of bills to make streets safer across the state, including one that would change how you drive.

It would require any new car or truck made or sold in the state in 2027 or later to have special technology installed in the car called “speed governors.” The device would make it physically impossible for vehicles to go 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limits.

“I don’t think it’s at all an overreach, and I don’t think most people would view it as an overreach, we have speed limits, I think most people support speed limits because people know that speed kills,” Wiener said.

Another part of the measure would require large trucks to install side guards to prevent pedestrians, cyclists, or other vehicles from getting sucked underneath the truck during a crash.

Sen. Wiener says the bills are “commonsense actions” to protect public safety.

“I think if you ask anyone, do people need to be driving more than 10 miles an hour over the speed limit, assuming you’re not an emergency vehicle which are exempt from the bill, I think most people would say no, I don’t want people driving more than 10 miles an hour in my neighborhood,” he said.

A woman whose mother was permanently injured while crossing the street in San Francisco says she supports the change.

“It is hard to stand here where she suffered, where everything changed in an instant, all she was doing was crossing the street,” Jenny Yu, a San Francisco resident said.

“Dangerous speeding destroys lives, speed is the number one cause of severe and fatal crashes in San Francisco and in California, and dangerous speeding is on the rise. Vehicles are bigger and more powerful every day, pedestrians become innocent carnage and collateral damage.”

Wiener’s second bill would require Caltrans to make upgrades to crosswalks, bike lanes and curb extensions on state-owned roads to protect pedestrians, cyclists and those who rely on public transit.

A similar bill was vetoed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2019 in order to give Caltrans a chance to do this work on its own.

But five years later, Wiener says he still hasn’t seen much progress.

The bills introduced this week are expected to go to a committee sometime in the spring.

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