April 9, 2024


Memo in support of NY Repeat Offender Speed Limiter Bill (S7621/A7979)


As an alliance of global road safety and health organizations from academia, practitioners, and philanthropies, the Child Health Initiative provides a voice for the specific needs and rights of children within transportation and urban mobility policymaking. We are committed to saving lives through evidence-based best practices to lower risks for every child. This is why we support the Speed Limiters for Repeat Offenders bill, which will require installation of intelligent speed assistance (ISA) on vehicles that have repeatedly been speeding and pose a danger to others.

Children are particularly vulnerable to the fatal effects of high speeds. For a child, being hit at 30 mph risks their life on a coin toss, with a 50/50 chance of survival, but at 20 mph there is a 90% chance at life. Limiting speed among the worst offenders is a cost-effective, common-sense, approach. This bill will target a small number of drivers that are disproportionately responsible for carnage on our streets. When you speed, repeatedly, we should use similar technology to stop that in the same way that ignition interlock devices prevent drunk drivers from operating vehicles. ISA technology works and the data from its use in New York City fleet vehicles is impressive: hard brake events fell by 36% and vehicles followed the speed limit 99% of the time. One study attributed a 37% decrease in traffic deaths to the use of active ISA technology.

Globally, the data supporting the life-saving potential of ISA is so strong that Europe has mandated it for all new passenger cars and commercial vehicles produced after July 6, 2024. The European Transport Safety Council estimated that deaths on roads in the EU will go down by 20% thanks to ISA. In the US, this bill will help us see the same success by helping to change the social norm around speeding, responsible for over a third of our road traffic fatalities.

Traffic deaths and injuries are a major, preventable public health problem. On average, crashes kill three New Yorkers daily and seriously injure hundreds more with life-long consequences. Crashes are the leading cause of injury related death, second leading cause of injury related hospitalizations and third leading cause for injury related emergency department visits in New York. Across the state, traffic fatalities are up 20% since the pandemic began. Traffic violence costs the New York State economy at least $15 billion annually in combined costs from hospitalization, emergency response, legal expenses, lost wages, and lost economic activity.

This bill can play a crucial role in helping the United States meet the goal to half road deaths and injuries by 2030, set by the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety. Where New York leads, other cities and countries will follow. We respectfully urge the New York State legislature to pass the Speed Limiters for Repeat Offenders bill this legislative session, and to be a leader nationally and globally for making our vehicles safer.


Saul Billingsley,
FIA Foundation Executive Director,
Coordinator of Child Health Initiative

CC: New York State Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie, Governor Kathy Hochul; Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins; Senate Transportation Chair Timothy M. Kennedy; Assembly Ways and Means Chair Helene E. Weinstein; Senate Finance Committee Chair Liz Krueger.

Supported by

The George Institute
Bernard van Leer Foundation
Fondation Botnar