Devices to stop drivers speeding ‘could be fitted to all new cars’

Tory MPs complain new safety measures will mean ‘Big Brother in your cockpit’

Joe Middleton
Saturday 16 April 2022 00:11
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<p>Traffic on the M4 motorway at Bridgend in Wales</p>

Traffic on the M4 motorway at Bridgend in Wales

Speed limiters are set to be fitted to all new cars under government plans to fall in line with new EU regulations, according to a report.

A consultation will be announced by ministers imminently on a number of vehicle safety measures that will set off an alarm or reduce engine power if drivers go above a certain speed limit, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The technology, known as “intelligent speed assistance”, is dependent upon GPS tracking and cameras on the vehicle and was previously described as a “big leap forward” in road safety by EU officials.

Tory MP Craig Mackinlay, who is the chairman of the Fair Fuel UK Motorists and Hauliers all-party parliamentary group, said the proposals sound “very unconservative”.

He said: “This will completely destroy the luxury car market, and I think there are so many aspects of the anti-driver campaign now that are coming to the fore.

“This is just more Big Brother in your cockpit. We’ll see more of this if we go up the route of road pricing. I don’t think people have thought of the freedom aspects of all of this. It just sounds very unconservative.”

The choice of alert given to drivers who break the speed limit would be up to vehicle manufacturers and could range from reducing the engine power or a push back on the pedal.

Drivers would be able to override the technology, but it would reset after each time a motorist restarts the vehicle. Some manufactuers such as Ford and Citroen have already started using the speed limiting technology in their vehicles.

Edmund King, the president of the AA, said that speed limits on roads would need to be very accurate on the digital system to ensure there were no problems.

He said: “The speed limits have to be totally accurate because the car is reacting to the speed limit. If you’ve got the wrong speed limit in the digital system, it might slow you to the wrong speed or allow you to speed to the wrong speed.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) said no decisions had been made on which safety regulations the UK would follow.

A spokesperson added: “The UK’s departure from the EU provides us with the platform to capitalise on our regulatory freedoms.

“We’re currently considering the vehicle safety provisions included in the EU’s General Safety Regulation and will implement requirements that are appropriate for Great Britain and improve road safety.”

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