New EU safety legislation
End of speed: new cars to have limiting devices fitted
Cars will be fitted with limiters
New cars are to be fitted with devices that will automatically prevent motorists exceeding the speed limit in what has been hailed as a major advance in road safety.
The Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) black boxes will use GPS to work out the speed limit and will then ensure the car does not break it.
New models will have an ISA fitted as standard within three years after the European Commission approved the legislation. The UK regulator, the Vehicle Certification Agency, has said it will adopt the safety standards whether or not Britain is a member of the EU.
The limiter is one of a range of safety features to be made mandatory from 2022, along with automated emergency braking, electronic data recorders and improved visibility built into lorries for drivers to see vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians around the vehicle.
Safety campaigners described the move as one of the biggest leaps forward in 50 years and said it could save 25,000 lives by 2037. But AA president Edmund King said the technology could make cars less safe and the “best speed limiter is the driver’s right foot” when used “to do the right speed in the right situation”.
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.”
However, drivers should be able to override the system by pushing hard on the throttle – when they may be overtaking another motorist who has decided to increase their speed.
The package of measures needs to be ratified by the European parliament, which is expected by September.