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Lawmakers propose bill to install speed controllers on vehicles

New proposed bills by the California legislature motion for “speed governors” to be installed into all new vehicle systems beginning in 2027 to ensure public safety. A majority of USC students would be affected by this change, as approximately 64% of USC undergraduates lived off-campus in 2022.

Sen. Scott Wiener introduced a pair of bills, Senate Bills 960 and 961, nicknamed the “Speeding and Fatality Emergency Reduction on California Streets” bills. Drivers with the devices will not be allowed to exceed 10 mph over the speed limit on public roads and highways.

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In cooperation with recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board, SB 961 would implement Intelligent Speed Assistant technologies, which use advanced GPS systems to alert drivers when they exceed the established speed limit.

Eric Shen, an adjunct professor of civil and environmental engineering, said policymakers must consider education, enforcement and engineering when crafting traffic legislation. 

Shen said SB 960 and 961 are “bold,” but there must be a balance between the legislation put out by the policymakers and the public that abides by their laws. 

“Where do we draw the balance to invent and implement new devices [and] new technology that will enhance the safety for all, but at the same time respect the fact that people love to go fast?” Shen said. 

He said educating drivers on the repercussions of speeding will create strategies toward achieving safer roads. Although there is much work to be done, Shen says proposed bills serve as a forum for conversation.

Speeding has become an increasingly severe concern, especially in Los Angeles. In 2023, the L.A. Police Department reported more traffic fatalities than ones resulting from homicide. The city tabulated 336 deaths from traffic violations last year, almost an 8% increase from 2022.

Wiener proposed the draft to make an effort to reduce the number of speeding-induced accidents and deaths in California. 

“Preventing reckless speeding is a commonsense approach to prevent these utterly needless and heartbreaking crashes,” said Wiener.

He proposed these bills in an effort to mitigate the lethal impact that speeding and irresponsible driving habits have on the youth. 

“Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for kids in California in large part because vehicles are now faster and more dangerous than ever,” Wiener said.


Senate Bill 960 pushes for improved street conditions, including new paved sidewalks and roads, to provide a safer environment for pedestrians and bicyclists.

In 2023, The UC Berkeley Safe Transportation Research and Education Center distributed an online self-administered survey to California drivers above the age of 18. 

The surveyors asked participants what they believe to be the most important component to increase public safety for road users, and 48.7% designated a ranking of 5 (most important) to “improving safe street design … that supports all road users, including drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and transit.” Just above 40% of respondents rated the promotion of safe speeds and reduction of driver speeds a 5.

Navigating through the complex L.A. traffic, commuting students experience firsthand the dangers of the road. Last year saw a 13% year-over-year hike in pedestrian deaths caused from being struck by a moving vehicle reported to the LAPD.

There have been several accounts in past years of deaths or injuries of USC students caused by speeding vehicles on or near the main campus. In December 2021, CBS News reported the death of a USC student while crossing the road near Exposition Park. Two cars were allegedly racing above the established speed limit. 

Another report by CBS News detailed the death of a couple by a hit-and-run driver in May 2023. The posted speed limit in the area of the crime scene was 35 mph, and the driver was said to be traveling above the speed limit before he uncontrollably crashed into the couple’s car.

 “[The legislation] has its pros and cons,” Kaylan Perez, a graduate student studying public administration, says. “It’s going to help save lives at times, like with speeding, but other times, it’s also going to just make L.A. even slower.”

Originally Appeared Here

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