Sen. Gounardes Joins Advocates to Test-Drive Vehicle with Speed-Limiting Tech for Repeatedly Reckless Drivers

Andrew Gounardes

May 7, 2024

Senator Andrew Gounardes joins safe streets advocates at a rally in support of speed limiters for reckless drivers.

Sen. Gounardes’ proposed legislation would require speed limiters in the vehicles of serial speeders who accumulate 11+ points on their license in an 18-month period or receive six speed or red-light camera tickets in a year.

View video of the press event here.

View video of Sen. Gounardes’ test drive here.

View photos of the press event here.

Albany, NY - State Senator Andrew Gounardes joined street safety advocates and other lawmakers today to test drive a car with cutting-edge intelligent speed assistance (ISA) technology, that limits the maximum speed a vehicle can travel.

Also known as “speed limiters” or “governors,” these devices are already standard-issue in new vehicles sold in Europe, and the federal National Safety Transportation Board has recommended the same in the U.S. 

Senator Gounardes’ legislation (S.7621/A7979) would require the installation of ISA technology on the vehicles of repeatedly reckless drivers that accumulate 11 or more points on their license in an 18-month period, or that receive six speed camera or red-light camera tickets in a year. The devices would prevent drivers from traveling more than 5 mph over the local speed limit. This approach is similar to existing state law that requires an “ignition interlock device” in the vehicle of anyone convicted of drunk driving. Washington D..C. passed similar legislation earlier in the year

Excessive speed plays a role in about one-third of all traffic deaths, roughly the same percentage as crashes involving drunk drivers. A person hit by a car traveling 35 mph is five times more likely to die than a person hit by a car traveling 20 mph. 

ISA technology is proven to increase street safety. One report found speed limiters reduced traffic deaths by 37% in the UK. When New York City instituted an ISA pilot program for municipal vehicles, hard-braking incidents dropped 36%, and vehicles followed the speed limit 99% of the time.

"ISA devices do a simple, life-saving thing: prevent drivers from speeding," said State Senator Andrew Gounardes. "When people drive drunk, we put a device in cars to prevent it from happening again. When people repeatedly speed, we should use similar tech to stop that, too. My bill to mandate ISA devices for repeatedly-reckless drivers will only apply to a small number of serial speeders, but it will have an outsize impact on safety for everyone."

“Speeding fatalities are preventable and it is time to face the reality that current traditional methods to control repeat speeding offenders don't work. We need stronger action,” said Leah Walton, a transportation safety specialist with the National Transportation Safety Board. “Recent investigations of devastating speed-related crashes led the NTSB to recommend all states explore requiring ISA for repeat speeding offenders. We encourage New York to implement this measure and set a new standard for traffic safety in our country.”

“I became a member of Families for Safe Streets after I was seriously injured as a pedestrian on a gray afternoon in 2017. I’m standing here today, alive and on two legs and without a brain injury, because of speed. The force of the vehicle, a sedan, traveling at fairly low speed, tore the layers of muscle, fascia, viscera, and skin apart. New York State can do so much more to protect everyone from traffic violence on our streets — and our elected leaders can start by passing Speed Limiters for Repeat Offenders and the entire SAFE Streets Package,” said Families for Safe Streets member Kate Brockwehl. “Last year, Albany passed zero statewide street safety bills, while hundreds of New Yorkers were killed by cars and trucks. These losses are preventable, but New York is not taking steps to prevent them. It’s past time for Albany to treat traffic violence like a public health crisis and pass the SAFE Streets Package without delay.”

Media Contact:

Billy Richling

Communications Director

State Senator Andrew Gounardes


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