Another Day, Another Senate Bill…

  • Adam Cohen,
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Speed Governors - SB 961

The nanny state is at it again!  California is trying to require new vehicles to have speed governors installed, limiting how fast they can go.  Senator Scott Wiener of San Francisco has proposed this law, hoping it will reduce traffic injuries and death.

Senate Bill 961 would require every vehicle manufactured, or sold in California to have speed governors starting in 2027.  The vehicles would have GPS technology in them that would limit the vehicle speed according to the speed limit where they are driving.  That means not only will the government get to limit the speed of your vehicle, they will also know where it is at all times.  Wiener is open to other ideas, like a constant annoying sound to warn drivers to slow down.  The European Union has already passed a similar law.

Many opponents of the bill believe the best way to monitor speeders is increased police presence.  Moreover, changes in speed are often needed to avoid hazards in the road.  For example, switching lanes in unsafe situations may require drivers to speed up beyond the speed limit. 

In my opinion, more regulations are not the answer.  People always find ways around laws like this.  For example, since this law would only apply to vehicles manufactured or sold in California, it is likely that Tesla’s Fremont Factory would just move states.  That’s 20,000 jobs that would leave the state of California.  Moreover, auto dealerships could close and move to the other side of the border in Nevada or Arizona.

While the law is well intentioned, the harm it would cause to the economy cannot be understated.  So the law would kill jobs and businesses, and people could still get fast cars by buying them in other states.  This really is a lose-lose for the state of California.

If you want to get Wiener on the phone, call him at 415-557-1300.  Let him know he should be focusing on the hundreds of other issues that affect Californians, like enforcing existing laws that could have prevented 650 fentanyl deaths in San Francisco last year. 

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Updated: 01/24/2024