All new cars sold in the EU are set to be fitted with mandatory speed limiters within three years, after a key group of MEPs approved the fitment of a wide range of safety measures for new cars.

The limiters – dubbed Intelligent Speed Assistance, or ISA – use traffic-sign-recognition cameras and/or GPS data to determine the maximum permitted speed in a particular area, automatically limiting engine power and a vehicle’s speed to the prevailing limit.

Safest cars on sale 2019

The push for mandatory speed limiters is being spearheaded by the European Transport Safety Council, which says the limiters will reduce traffic collisions by 30 per cent, and save 25,000 lives within 15 years of coming into force.

The ETSC only recommends a “full on/off switch” for the limiters should be included “to aid public acceptance at introduction”, indicating it intends to push for even stricter rules in the future. While it would be possible to override the ISA by pushing hard on the accelerator, the system would be activated every time the car is started.

The ETSC’s recommendations also stipulate that “If the driver continues to drive above the speed limit for several seconds, the system should sound a warning for a few seconds and display a visual warning until the vehicle is operating at or below the speed limit again.” Mandatory data loggers would also be fitted to all new cars under the ETSC’s programme.

The UK’s exit from the EU is unlikely to have much effect on the ISA legislation: car makers are unlikely to homologate vehicles specifically for the UK market, while the UK’s type approval centre, the VCA, has previously said it intends to mirror European rules post-Brexit.

Other mandatory safety kit due within three years – assuming the proposals are approved by the European Parliament, Commission, and member states – include lane-keep assist and autonomous emergency braking.

Would you welcome mandatory speed limiters? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…



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