All new cars sold across the EU will be fitted with mandatory speed limiters from today as new rules kick in.
Speed limiters use Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) technology to warn drivers to slow down through vibrations or sounds if they go above the maximum speed limit.
For instance, if you’re driving on a motorway, the ISA technology would restrict you to a maximum of 70mph as this is the national speed limit.
If you don’t reduce your speed, the system – which use GPS data and traffic sign-recognition cameras to work out speeds – can reduce engine power.
Speed limiters are already fitted on many cars and can be overridden by pressing hard on the accelerator.
This allows the car to go above the permitted speed for a short amount of time – for example, if the driver needs to avoid an accident on the road – before it reengages.
Drivers can also manually switch the system off, but it gets reactivated each time a car ignition is turned on and off.
The new EU rules mean all newly launched cars – so ones not already in dealer showrooms – will have to have speed limiters installed by law from July 6.
New models already in showrooms today won’t need to have the technology retrofitted into them until July 7, 2024.
It comes as part of the updated General Safety Regulation in the EU and affects new cars, work vehicles and public transport – including buses, vans and trucks.
The EU claims the ISA systems alone will result in up to 30 per cent fewer deaths in Europe.
However, the UK Government has yet to confirm if speed limiters will be a requirement for motors sold in Britain from today.
A spokesperson from the Department for Transport told The Mirror: “The government is committed to making use of new and emerging technology to help improve road safety for motorists across the nation.
“We’re currently assessing the vehicle safety technologies within the EU’s General Safety Regulation, which include Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), and a decision will be taken in due course as to whether to mandate any of those in Great Britain.”
Data from the Home Office says that last year 6,000 motorists a day were booked for speeding in the UK.
The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and three penalty points added to your licence.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, has said UK drivers could soon see speed limiters arriving in new cars “sooner than later”.
He told The Telegraph: “One of the issues about deployment of an ISA system in the UK is that we do not have an authoritative national map of the speed limits though on-car camera-based technology that scans for roadside signs can help plug the gaps.
“Even if ISA is not made mandatory in the UK, given that auto companies must develop the technology to meet EU requirements, together with the demands of our domestic insurance companies and fleet buyers, means we are likely to see ISA arriving here sooner than later.”