EU: Speed limiters to be implemented from 2022
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A new European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) rule will see all new cars fitted with mandatory speed limiters. Drivers will be restricted from accelerating beyond speed limits using sign recognition cameras and GPS data. The device will have to be installed in all new cars from July 2022, however models available prior to that date will also need the limiter fitted by May 2024.
Speed limits will be displayed on the driver’s dashboard, and the vehicle is automatically slowed down if needed.
However, drivers can override the system by pushing harder on the accelerator.
If the speeding continues, the car will sound an alert and a warning will appear on the dashboard.
Although the UK left the European Union last year, the rules are expected to still be enforced over here.
Even after Brexit, the UK has continued to retain most EU laws for new cars.
This helps to standardise the car manufacturing process for different markets.
However, fears over the limiters have emerged from campaign groups in unearthed accounts.
The devices track how people drive and can also store data in the build up to a crash, something the EU said “will provide crucial information for accident analysis and reducing accidents in future”.
They could also help to prosecute speeding drivers after a crash.
Campaign group Big Brother Watch told the Daily Mail in 2019 the mandatory system “goes against British principles of liberty and free choice”, warning that the data “can and will be misused”.
Howard Cox of campaign group FairFuelUK told the newspaper: “This is just another example of the intruding nanny state.
“Millions of motorists will be horrified by the idea that their every move can be monitored.
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“It’s all a bit too Big Brother.”
Insurers also issued warnings that the technology could have a detrimental effect to road safety.
Calum McPhail of Zurich Insurance, told MailOnline motorists may “assume it is safe just to drive at the given road limit irrespective of the immediate environment – for instance outside schools – and in adverse weather conditions, including standing water caused by rain, reduced visibility in fog and slippery surfaces caused by snow and ice.”
He warned drivers may switch off and pay less attention to their speed, believing their car will “keep them right”.
Motoring lawyer Richard Freeman warned of the potential consequences for UK motorists in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk.
He said: “My first observation is it’s going to make motoring much more expensive.
“We are fitting additional equipment to cars.
“There is the cost implication for new cars and there is going to be the cost implication from May 2024 for existing cars.
“It’s going to cost everybody more money. That cost is obviously going to be passed onto the motorist.
“It’s not going to be subsidised by anybody.”
Confused.com have, however, previously suggested the new technology could actually see insurance costs fall.
With drivers travelling at lower speeds, they predicted drivers would be taking less risks, thus fewer claims.
If claims were to fall dramatically, the comparison platform added the cost of insuring vehicles would likely be reduced.
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