June 19, 2024

New California Bill Mandates Cars to Audibly Alert Drivers of Speeding

Photo: Franz Marc Frei (Getty Images)

In advanced nations around the globe, driving continues to become safer. However, the lone exception to this trend is the United States, where the safety of driving is on the decline. Regrettably, there are numerous factors contributing to the increased danger of driving in the U.S., and there is no single solution to address all of them. One effective measure that could improve safety is for drivers to reduce their speed, particularly in urban areas. In a move to encourage this behavior, Road & Track reports that California has recently approved a bill mandating vehicles to alert drivers when they exceed the speed limit by more than 10 mph.

The California Senate has passed SB 961, which mandates that half of all new vehicles manufactured or sold in the state be equipped with passive speed limiters by 2029, increasing to 100 percent by 2032. While there will be no physical barrier preventing drivers from exceeding the speed limit, audible warnings and visual alerts will make it more inconvenient to do so.

As per the bill, the “passive intelligent speed assistance system” required would be “[an] integrated vehicle system that utilizes, at a minimum, the GPS location of the vehicle compared to a database of posted speed limits to determine the speed limit, and provides a brief, one-time visual and audio alert to the driver each time they surpass the speed limit by more than 10 miles per hour.” Additionally, it would default to the higher speed limit if multiple speed limits are present in the driving area for any reason.

This concept is not entirely novel. Starting in July, the European Union will also mandate similar passive speed limiters in new vehicles, a move supported by both the National Transportation Safety Board and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. If approved, California will be the first state in the U.S. to enforce such a regulation. Should it pass, it is likely that other states will follow California’s lead.


Q: What are the benefits of passive speed limiters in vehicles?

A: Passive speed limiters can help alert drivers when they are exceeding the speed limit, promoting safer driving habits and reducing the risk of accidents.


The implementation of passive speed limiters in vehicles, as proposed by the California bill, could be a significant step towards enhancing road safety and reducing accidents. By leveraging technology to remind drivers to adhere to speed limits, we can work towards creating a safer driving environment for all.

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