Speed limiters spark fury among Britons – ‘Not going to assist road safety’

EU: Speed limiters to be implemented from 2022

The European Union introduced new regulations under the EU General Safety Rule meaning all new vehicles in the EU from July 6 must include Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) technology to alert drivers on their speed. The ISA technology uses both GPS data and traffic cameras to recognise road signs and monitor speeds.

The system can also reduce engine power and automatically slow vehicles down to comply with the speed limits identified.

READ MORE: Brexit: Brexiteer savages EU over ‘terribly dangerous’ speed limiters

The EU hopes the ISA technology will use motoring collisions in Europe by 30 percent and road deaths by 20 percent. 

The ISA systems can be turned off by the driver but will automatically be activated each time the car is started. 

Brexit means that the UK does not need to adopt this new law, yet Express.co.uk asked readers whether they thought it was a good idea.

Motorway and speed meter

Speed limiters spark fury among Britons – ‘Not going to assist road safety’ (Image: Getty)

In a poll that ran from 2pm on Friday, July 22, to midday on Sunday, July 24, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Should the UK follow the EU and enforce speed limiters on all new cars?” 

In total, 2,079 readers cast their votes with the overwhelming majority, 88 percent (1,837 people) answering “no”, the UK should not enforce speed limiters on new cars. 

A further 11 percent (237 people) said “yes”, the UK should follow the EU and introduce speed limiters. 

Just five people said they did not know either way.

Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers shared their thoughts on speed limiters being enforced in the UK.

Car dashboard

All new vehicles in the EU from July 6 must include Intelligent Speed Assistance technology (Image: Getty)

Most readers were against the idea of speed limiters being introduced with one reader, username RY28, writing: “We Brexiteers should be free to drive at whatever speed we like.” 

Some argued that speed limiters could compromise safety on the road. 

Username Justme.74 said: “Absolutely not. If you need to avoid a collision, with a speed limiter you could be well and truly in difficulty.” 

Username Justathought said: “Limiters might be more of a danger to motorists in that sometimes one needs a little bit more power to prevent an accident. A limiter gives no leeway for this.” 

And username uncivilservant said: “No, nothing that takes control out of the hands of the driver should be installed unless and until the manufacturers of such device are made liable for any incidents that result from their use.”

While username Jonha said: “We endlessly move goalposts here and suddenly have lower speed limits on roads, variable speed limits on motorways and when the many roadworks are set up.   

“No system is going to be able to cope with that. Someone doing 20mph when the limit is 40mph (or even 30mph) is not going to be assisting road safety.” 

Former MEP Ben Habib told Express.co.uk last week: “Leaving aside all the interference and the micromanagement over the way we live, this is a dangerous thing as drivers sometimes need to accelerate to get out of trouble. 

“They need to be able to get out of the way of a moving car, look in the rearview mirror if someone is approaching too fast so you might need to accelerate quickly to avoid being bumped from the back.” 

The Brexiteer added: “It’s terribly dangerous to put machines in charge of human behaviour.”


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UK's most dangerous regions

UK’s most dangerous regions (Image: EXPRESS.CO.UK)

However, some readers argued that speed limiters would be a good addition to vehicles. 

Username grockle said: “Yes – with the proviso that drivers must be able to exceed the limit, briefly, on the rare occasions that is necessary to get them out of trouble. 

“The UK is full of idiots who will not stay within the speed limit. If they can’t maintain their own self-control, the rules will have to be enforced using technology.” 

Another reader, username Earlybird56, said: “Personally I think it’s a useful edition in some instances and it can be turned off similar to the stop/ start button.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) told Express.co.uk earlier this month that the new measures are not yet effective in the UK. 

A DfT spokesperson said: “The UK’s departure from the EU provides us with the platform to capitalise on our regulatory freedoms and make decisions that are right for Great Britain and benefit road safety.

“We’re currently assessing the vehicle safety technologies included in the EU’s General Safety Regulation and a decision will be taken in due course as to whether to mandate any of those in Great Britain.” 

Some car manufacturers have already been offering elements of ISA technology in their vehicles and the AA has supported its introduction regardless if it is adopted as law.

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