speed limit sign

EU proposes mandatory speed-limiting tech for new cars from 2022

Image credit: Dreamstime

The EU could implement safety technologies in all new vehicles from 2022 that will force them to stick to local speed limits.

The measure is part of a package of proposals put forward by the European Commission that also includes warning systems to keep drowsy drivers awake and advanced emergency braking tech.

The proposals will form part of the EU’s revised General Safety Regulations and have been provisionally agreed by the European Parliament, Council and Commission and are now subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and Council.

The European Commission said it expects that the measures will help save over 25,000 lives and avoid at least 140,000 serious injuries by 2038, contributing towards the long-term goal of moving close to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050.

The proposals have already attracted varying responses with road safety charity Brake describing it as a “landmark day for road safety” while the AA said the “best speed limiter is the driver’s right foot”.

In addition to the aforementioned, the new mandatory safety features include:

For cars, vans, trucks and buses: reversing safely with a camera or sensors; the inclusion of a data recorder (black box) in case of an accident.

For cars and vans: lane-keeping assistance; advanced emergency braking; crash-test improved safety belts.

For trucks and buses: specific requirements to improve the direct vision of bus and truck drivers and to remove blind spots; systems at the front and side of the vehicle to detect and warn of vulnerable road users, especially when making turns.

EU Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said the “vast majority” of fatal road accidents were caused by human error.

“We can and must act to change this,” she said.

“With the new advanced safety features that will become mandatory, we can have the same kind of impact as when safety belts were first introduced.

“Many of the new features already exist, in particular in high-end vehicles. Now we raise the safety level across the board, and pave the way for connected and automated mobility of the future.”

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, added: “These measures will provide the biggest leap forward for road safety this century, perhaps even since the introduction of the seatbelt.

“These lifesaving measures come at a vital time, with road safety in a concerning period of stagnation with more than 70 people still being killed or seriously injured on British roads every day.”

Brake urged the government to commit to adopting the regulations in the UK, no matter what happens with Brexit.

The UK’s Vehicle Certification Agency has previously said the UK would align with EU rules on vehicle standards after Brexit, saying it aimed to “pursue mutual recognition of UK and EU type-approval certification”.

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