New York officials are considering a new bill, Senate Bill S9528, which would require all new vehicles in the state to be fitted with technology that limits their speed to the maximum allowable limit set by local traffic laws. The technology, known as Active Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), would use GPS and traffic sign recognition to determine the speed limit.
The bill was introduced by Manhattan State Senator Brad Hoylman on August 12th, 2022 and, if passed, would take effect on January 1st, 2024. It cites a study that estimates the ISA system could reduce traffic fatalities by 20%. The bill also calls for the mandatory installation of other active safety systems, such as automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring, in new vehicles starting from the same date.
New York City is currently running a trial with 50 vehicles from the city’s fleet fitted with the ISA system. The trial will run for six months. Mayor Eric Adams has stated that “speeding ruins lives” and the city is leading by example by implementing new technology to reduce speeds.
Critics of the system argue that there may be instances where drivers need to exceed the speed limit, such as during merging. A potential solution could be to introduce the system in stages, starting with a warning and gradually escalating to automatic speed reduction if the limit is still exceeded.
While the bill is under consideration, it has not yet passed the New York State Senate or State Assembly and, if passed, would need to be signed into law or vetoed by the governor. It’s worth noting that the safety standards for new vehicles are set at the federal level, which may impact New York officials’ ability to implement the bill if passed.
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