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Speed limiters to be introduced for UK cars from 2022

Estimated reading time: 2 mins 30 secs

Alice Sanderson, March 29, 2019

Following a provisional ruling by the EU, speed limiting technology is likely to become mandatory for all vehicles sold in Europe from 2022.

The Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) boxes will use GPS to determine the speed limit and will then stop the car from going above it.

The Department of Transport have said that, despite Brexit, this will also apply to the UK.

New measures approved by the European Commission also include a variety of other compulsory safety features for new vehicles, including advanced emergency braking and lane-keeping technology.

While the Commission has approved the move, it is now subject to the formal approval of the European Parliament and EU member states in September, although this is expected to be rubberstamped.

What is it?

When fitted with ISA, cars receive information via GPS and a digital map which informs the vehicle what the speed limit is. It may also be combined with a video camera that recognises road signs.

The system can be overridden temporarily by the driver pushing down hard on the accelerator, for instance if they are trying to overtake a lorry on a motorway and they enter a lower speed-limit area.

It is also envisaged that there will be a full on/off switch for the system, which would lapse every time the vehicle is restarted.

Some manufacturers including Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot-Citroen, Renault and Volvo already have ISA technology in some of their models.

What will be the effect?

According to the EU, the plan could help avoid 140,000 serious injuries by 2038, with an aim to cut road deaths to zero by 2050.

EU commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said “Every year, 25,000 people lose their lives on our roads. The vast majority of these accidents are caused by human error.

“With the new advanced safety features that will become mandatory, we can have the same kind of impact as when safety belts were first introduced.”

Response

Campaign director from road safety charity Brake Joshua Harris welcomed the move, calling it a “landmark day for road safety in the EU”.

He added: “These measures will provide the biggest leap forward for road safety this century."

However, the move has not been welcomed by all, with the AA disagreeing with its potential safety benefits

AA president Edmund King said that the measures could instead make cars less safe. He said that the “best speed limiter is the driver’s right foot” when used “to do the right speed in the right situation”.

“The right speed is often below the speed limit, for example, outside a school with children around, but with ISA there may be a temptation to go at the top speed allowed which may not be appropriate.”

He added: “Sometimes a little speed also helps to keep safe on the road, for example overtaking a tractor on a country road or joining a motorway.”

Further information

If you have been injured in a road traffic accident, contact First4Lawyers today and let our expert solicitors help you get compensation for your injuries. Request a call back from one of our team for more information.