EU Provisionally Agrees Mandatory Speed Limiters

It seems that there’s quite a lot in the news about the EU at the moment. Aside from the usual six letter word, however, they’ve recently ended up in the news after provisionally agreeing new rules that would see speed limiting technology become mandatory in all new vehicles from 2022.

The new rules, that are yet to be officially put into power, would see all vehicles fitted with an ‘Intelligent Speed Assistance’ (ISA) that could limit top speed by reducing the amount of power produced by the vehicle’s engine. As you can imagine, it has been received with very mixed reviews. 

So, how does it work? The system will use GPS data, a digital map and road sign-recognition to advise the driver of the speed limit and subsequently limit the speed that a car can achieve. Much like the speed limiters that you can set in some modern cars, the system can be temporarily overridden by a sharp press on the accelerator. The idea is that this will allow you to complete a manoeuvre where you require a burst of speed. 

Planners also envisage that vehicles will have a switch that turns the system on/off, but this would reset every single time the car is switched on. Following initial outcry, the EU wanted to bring these override options to people’s attention as the system is there mainly to warn people of speeding and doesn’t force people to always do the speed limit.

That said, if you do frequently switch the system off or ignore its warnings, the police and your insurance company will be made aware of your actions by data stored on a mandatory black box that will be fitted to all vehicles affected by the above. Nicknamed as a “spy on board” by the BBC, this data recorder will be used in the same way that an aircraft’s black box is used in aviation accidents. 

Alongside these pieces of mandatory technology, the plans also call for all new vehicles from 2022 to be fitted with interior cameras that monitor whether the driver is awake and paying attention, advanced automatic emergency braking systems, lane departure warning systems and an integrated system that prevents people from driving under the influence of alcohol.

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council, said:

“There have only been a handful of moments in the last 50 years which could be described as big leaps forward for road safety in Europe.

“The mandatory introduction of the seatbelt was one, and the first EU minimum crash safety standards, agreed in 1998, was another. If this agreement is given the formal green light, it will represent another of those moments.”

The plans will take effect from May 2022 for new models that haven’t been designed yet and May 2024 for new versions of existing models. As these plans have been agreed by the EU, Brexit will mean that the UK does not have to adopt them – however, UK Government have hinted that they wold adopt the new rulings regardless.

We’ll definitely be keeping you up-to-date on this one, so make sure that you keep an eye on our social channels for more. In the meantime, what do you think of the new rules? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.

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