Speed-Limiting Technology: Will the UK Follow Suit?

New laws came into effect yesterday throughout the European Union which will affect anyone who might be thinking of buying a new car. Although the UK is no longer a member of the European Union, it is thought that our government will follow suit and implement the same rules.

 

This follows changes made to the Highway Code in January, with new legislation coming into effect meaning that any cars purchased throughout the EU from July 6th, 2022, will automatically be fitted with speed limiters.

Speed limiters are devices which are programmed to let the driver of the vehicle know if they are travelling above the speed limit, by either vibrating, illuminating, or emitting a noise, which will encourage drivers to reduce their speed. In some cases, the device will cause the car to automatically decelerate in the event of travelling above the speed limit.

The changes made to the Highway Code in early 2022 came into effect to make roads a safer place for all users, including pedestrians and cyclists, and it is thought that the addition of speed limiters, also known as Intelligent Speed Assistants (ISAs), will only further reduce the potential for road traffic accidents.

Of the 5,023 road casualties that were reported in 2021, 139 of these sadly proved fatal, with a further 1,596 of those reported seriously injured. According to the same report by Transport Scotland, 96 of these fatalities occurred on roads with speed limits exceeding 40mph.

The Scottish Government is aiming for a 50% reduction in the number of people fatally injured on Scottish roads by 2030, with a hope for the same percentage reduction in the number of people seriously injured in road collisions.

This target is based off the 2014/2018 reported averages, and it would be hoped that by introducing the mandatory use of speed limiters in cars across the UK, that this target will be reached.

Our Head of Dispute Resolution at Watermans, John Dillon, has this to say on the changes coming into force in Europe today.

“The introduction of Intelligent Speed Assistant technology across Europe can only be a positive development for safety in motoring. Hopefully the UK will follow the example set in Europe and make it compulsory for the same technology to be fitted into new cars being sold in our dealerships. The number of people being injured on Scotland’s roads and those who lose their life is still too high. The introduction of any technology that can help reduce those numbers further would be very much welcomed.”

The introduction of speed-limiting gadgets could be yet another technological addition to the way we travel on our roads, with news circulating in April of the potential launch of self-driving vehicles in the UK in the near future.

While the UK government has yet to make the use of fitted speed limiters mandatory, it is thought that they will follow the EU’s lead in a bid to tackle speeding and the high number of traffic collisions on our roads.

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“I enjoy the challenge of putting my clients back in a position they would have been in, had they not been unfortunate to suffer an accident through no fault of their own.”

John Dillon, Head of Dispute Resolution