First US Intelligent Speed Assist legislation passed, supported by FIA Foundation

First US Intelligent Speed Assist legislation passed, supported by FIA Foundation

The first-ever US legislation to mandate Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA) for repeat speeding drivers has been passed in Washington, DC, following intensive advocacy by Families for Safe Streets, supported by the FIA Foundation.

The capital's legislation, the Act for 'Strengthening Traffic Enforcement, Education, and Responsibility '(STEER), was unanimously passed by the DC Council. It will enable a pilot scheme for ISA implementation to reduce speeding and reckless driving by repeat offenders.

ISA uses a combination of vehicle GPS location data, mapping systems, and road-sign recognition video cameras to identify the legal speed limit and either warn speeding drivers or make it more difficult to increase the speed of a vehicle above a speed limit. Since 2022, ISA technology has been mandatory for all new European vehicles through the European Commission's Vehicle General Safety Regulation (GSR).

Drivers convicted of major speeding crimes will have their vehicles fitted with ISA devices to limit speeds, similar to existing programmes in the US, which use ignition interlock technology to prevent drunk driving by repeat offenders. Through the speed governor pilot programme, drivers, with the exception of those on low incomes, would be responsible for the installation cost of the device.

The campaign to introduce ISA legislation for repeat offenders has been led by Families for Safe Streets, a project of road safety NGO Transportation Alternatives, with chapters across the US campaigning to reduce traffic speeds and save lives.

Natalie Draisin, North America Director and United Nations Representative, said: "This legislation represents a monumental step towards addressing speed, the main cause of more than a quarter of all our road deaths, or 12,330 lives lost each year. The FIA Foundation is honored to support Families for Safe Streets in its campaign to address the unacceptable number of preventable deaths on our streets."

Jessica Hart, a member of Families for Safe Streets, Washington DC, said: "We were inspired to take action after seeing New York introduce similar legislation, and we're heartened to see this huge step forward. When our five-year-old daughter Allison was killed in a crosswalk, our world shattered in an instant. It's impossible to have our daughter back, but it is possible to prevent other families from suffering like ours. The very least that we can do is to use every tool that we can to limit dangerous drivers. ISA [intelligent speed assistance] is a vital tool toward that end."

Thomas DeVito, National Director for Families for Safe Streets, said: "When people drive drunk, they are required to outfit their vehicles with technology that prevents them from doing that again. With speeding, we know a small percentage of repeat offenders cause disproportionate carnage on our streets – and we need to apply similarly innovative approaches to keeping our roadways safe for everyone. We hope the passage of this landmark bill will inspire cities and states across the country to take action."

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