Circulate San Diego submitted a letter of support for AB 43, which will save lives by giving cities greater flexibility to set lower speed limits based on safety. Current law requires speed limits to be set in relation to the 85th percentile rule - that is, at a speed such that 85 percent of drivers travel slower than the speed limit. This requirement does not adequately take safety into account.
AB 43 enhances safety by requiring traffic engineers to take into account the presence of vulnerable groups, including children, seniors, the unhoused, and people with disabilities when setting speed limits. It also permits cities to lower speed limits below the 85th percentile on streets with high injuries and fatalities. It further provides greater flexibility in setting school speed limits to protect children.
Circulate San Diego is particularly familiar with the dangers of high speed drivers. Each year, Circulate gathers data on the number of traffic fatalities and serious injuries on San Diego streets as part of our Vision Zero efforts. In 2020, 56 people were killed and 127 were seriously injured on San Diego surface streets. That amount of death and serious injury is unacceptable. AB 43 gives cities the ability to set speed limits that reflect the value of human life. Read the full letter here [pdf]