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Speed limiters and black boxes to be fitted to all new cars within three years

Published 25 February 2019

Data recorders, speed limiters and automated braking systems could soon be compulsory on all new cars, following a key vote by MEPs.

Members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) voted in favour of a new range of mandatory vehicle safety standards, which include tougher crash testing and the fitment of speed limiters to all new cars.

The intelligent speed assistance (ISA) system is expected to be mandatory within three years - it will govern the vehicle's speed by using GPS data and road signs. Around two-thirds of fatal or serious crashes in the UK occur on roads with a speed limit of 30mph. 

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, a pedestrian is up to 5.5 times more likely to be killed by a car travelling above 30mph than below.

ISA systems could cut accident rates by automatically controlling the vehicle's speed to match the local and national limits, although the EU proposed system is expected to feature a switch that will allow the driver to switch it off or override it by applying the accelerator. 

The EU legislation is expected to apply to all new cars within three years and will most-likely be standard on all UK-sold cars, with the British Government stating that it will adopt all European automotive laws post-Brexit.

“This legislation represents a major step forward for road safety in Europe, and could save 25,000 lives within fifteen years of coming into force,” said Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the European Transport Safety Council.

"Final negotiations between the Parliament, Member States and the European Commission should now begin as soon as possible. Minimum vehicle safety standards in the EU were last updated in 2009, so there is no time to lose."


Dellow Man    on 25 February 2019

I think the value of my old car just went up!!!

That bloke    on 25 February 2019

What's the point if it can be over-riden by a switch or the accelerator?

Eric van Spelde    on 26 February 2019

In what sort of parallel universe do these folks live? The number of times the GPS data suggest a speed limit of 50 km/h on a motorway where the actual limit is 120 or 130 km/h (or vice versa) suggest that you really DON'T want your car to act on them if you want to be safe.
Another instance of overreliance on technology that flies in the face of common sense. Do these people even have a license themselves?

Falkirk Bairn    on 26 February 2019

A local road to my home runs parallel to the M9 motorway for a mile or so - the distance between the local road & the motorway can be as little as 20 yards in a few places.
Recipe for disaster!

Honestjohn    on 26 February 2019

Similar comments here on 'Location Location Location': Email about drivers using telematics black boxes being punished by their insurers when the GPS system wrongly placed them on a road with a lower speed limit. Obviously there have been a series of meetings between lobbyists for vested interests and the relevant EC Commissioners. Such meetings were something the EC Parliament was supposed to be looking into. Now they've gone and ratified the nonsense. HJ

Edited by Honestjohn on 26/02/2019 at 14:08

aaj    on 27 February 2019

Maybe if people stopped driving down my road (20mph limit) @ 40 mph there would be no need to limit the speed...

Palcouk    on 27 February 2019

Was it not MEP's decisions that led to 'DieselGate' and the decision to grant a manopoly to a single type of refrigerant used in vehicle climate sytems that is significantly more costly and prone to leaks.
At least one thing in life remains true, that we can always rely on polititions make a B*up that cost the consumer money.
Of course its not just MEP's, our polititions decreed that a driver found innocent of a parking missdemeaner cannot recover any costs in fighting his corner whilst parking authorities are allowed to increase fines if not paid within xx days

Rob Redhead    on 2 March 2019

Wait until a pre limiter vehicle rear ends a new vehicle or two that suddenly drop from 70 mph to 20 due to the Motorway running near a 20 mph road.

Mr Ian C McCall    on 10 March 2019

The comment above is spot on whenever MP's/MEP's get involved in anything you can well expect a disaster that will ultimately cost the consumer dearly. It may well be that speed control technology copes with the varying limits on our roads, it will be introduced at great expense on the price of a new car but ultimately it will not result is the massive reduction in road death predicted. The reason for that is knocking people down is due to driving without care and attention and pedestrians who are not aware of their environment. Until you fix that problem the road deaths will continue apace. In fact expect them to increase significantly as electric silent running cars and vans are introduced...

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