Mandatory speed limiters to be fitted to all new UK cars after 2022

The use of mandatory speed limiters and data loggers on all new cars has been approved by the European Parliament, and manufacturers are already making moves

80mph motorway speed limit

Sitting among a range of new safety features due for all new cars, the mandatory speed limiters come as part of the General Safety Regulation proposed by the European Commission, approved in 2019 by the European Parliament and all EU member states. Though the UK is no longer in the EU, it has been confirmed that the UK will still utilise the technology.

Following the introduction of a 112mph speed cap on all new Volvos last year, Renault has now announced it will follow suit. From 2022, the brand will equip all new Dacia and Renault models with an ‘automatic speed limit adjuster’ and 112mph cap as standard. Fortunately, this likely won’t expand to performance models for the time being, with Renault’s more potent future offerings set to fall under the Alpine brand.

> Volvo commences fitment of 112mph speed limiter on all models

How speed limiters work

Dubbed Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), the limiters will use GPS data and/or traffic sign recognition cameras to determine the speed limit of the road a vehicle is travelling on. Engine power will then be limited to match this, preventing the car from exceeding the speed limit. It will be possible to override the system for the current journey by pushing hard on the throttle, however the system will be engaged every time a car is started.

If you think you can simply keep pressing a little harder on the throttle to break through the system, think again. ETSC also states that: ‘If the driver continues to drive above the speed limit for several seconds, the system should sound a warning for a few seconds and display a visual warning until the vehicle is operating at or below the speed limit again.’ 

A feature already seen on all new Volvos and models such as the Ford Focus, the speed limiters will come alongside data loggers, autonomous emergency braking systems, lane keep assist, driver fatigue detection systems and other safety measures. It’s not all quite as bad as you may think, as the European Transport and Safety Council admits the system will come with a full on/off switch initially. This is only “to aid public acceptance at introduction” however, and so it’s likely that it intends to push for even stricter rules in the future, meaning a permanent system may come into force.

The systems will be required on all new models given ‘type’ approval from May 2022, with all models on the market before that date required to adopt the tech by May 2024. With the recent confirmation of the UK’s adoption of the technology came interesting news from the Department for Transport, stating that it expects limiters "to give drivers feedback when the speed limit is exceeded rather than limiting the speed" with a reduction in engine power as previously understood.

The push for the new safety tech is down to the supposed reduction it will bring in traffic collisions and lives lost; ETSC says the limiters will reduce collisions by 30 per cent and save 25,000 lives within 15 years of being introduced.

> 'The erosion of our ability to enjoy the open road isn’t new – it’s been going on since the ’70s'

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