The European Parliament has recently announced the introduction of devices to automatically stop drivers exceeding the speed limit. These new devices are set to be made compulsory for all new cars sold in the UK and Europe from 2022.
Although Britain may no longer be part of the EU when the rules come into effect, the UK regulator, the Vehicle Certification Agency, has stated it will mirror safety standards for vehicles in the UK from the EU.
As well as the speed limiter, the EU also plans to make other safety features mandatory from 2022. Safety features such as automated emergency braking, which helps to avoid accidents by identifying critical situations and warning the driver or automatically braking, as well as electronic data recorders and improved visibility built into Lorries for drivers to see vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians around the vehicle, will all be mandatory.
Named intelligent speed assistance (ISA), the speed limiter device operates by using GPS data and sign recognition cameras to detect speed limits where the car is traveling, and then will sound a warning and automatically slow the vehicle down if it is exceeding the limit.
This has led to concern from some motoring groups, who have brought forward the argument that in certain situations, such as when trying to overtake a vehicle in front, speeding up could be safer. To solve this problem, drivers will be able to override the device by pushing hard on the accelerator.
On the other hand, the move has been praised by safety campaigners, some of who described it as one of the biggest leaps forward in 50 years and said it could save 25,000 lives by 2037.
The road safety charity Brake called it a “landmark day”. Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “These lifesaving measures come at a vital time, with road safety in a concerning period of stagnation with more than 70 people still being killed or seriously injured on British roads every day. The government must commit to adopting these lifesaving regulations, no matter what happens with Brexit.”
Read the full Guardian news story here.