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Bill to require all new cars and trucks in California be governed at 10 MPH over the speed limit


A California lawmaker recently introduced a bill to require that all new cars and trucks in the state be governed at 10 MPH over the speed limit in an effort to reduce highway fatalities.

On January 23, Senator Scott Wiener introduced SB 961, “a first-in-the-nation” piece of legislation that would require that all new vehicles sold in California come equipped with speed governors, smart devices that automatically limit the vehicle’s speed to 10 miles above the legal speed limit. The bill would require that all model year 2027 and later vehicles be equipped with an “intelligent speed limiter” device.

If passed, the speed limiter law would apply to every passenger vehicle, truck, and bus manufactured or sold in the state.

The bill would allow the vehicle operator to “temporarily disable” the speed limiter device.

Emergency vehicles would be exempt from SB 961.

SB 961 would also require side underride guards on trucks “to reduce the risk of cars and bikes being pulled underneath the truck during a crash.”

“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.” 

A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration speed limiter mandate for commercial vehicles is expected soon. A Final Rule was expected in December 2023, but the agency failed to publish the rule within that window of time.


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