UK Plans for Speed Limiters Could Be Scrapped
The government could abandon plans for speed limiters under the new EU safety regulations set to be introduced in July 2022.
I know what you’re thinking – why are we talking about EU safety regulations post-Brexit?
Well, the EU vehicle safety regulations were agreed before the UK left the EU. As a result, plans were already put in place for the UK to adopt the new regulations, part of which includes fitting all vehicles with safety devices to limit speed.
It’s unclear whether the UK will press ahead with the plans to install the new safety technology, known as Intelligent Speed Assistance, as planned.
What Are The New Vehicle Safety Regulations?
The rules include higher safety standards for cars, HGVs and all vehicles to ensure they’re safer for drivers and pedestrians.
The regulations mean that buses and lorries must have ‘better lines of sight’ through the Direct Vision Standard so they’re less likely to be involved in collisions with pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.
Other changes include more comprehensive crash tests during the design and manufacturing of new vehicles, as well as design changes to prevent head injuries for both cyclists and pedestrians.
There are many aspects to the safety regulations to be considered and given that we’re now only weeks away from the planned introduction of the new regulations, many industry experts are calling for clarity on what to expect.
In fact, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has expressed concern over any plans to deviate from the EU rules, stating that British Manufacturers could be left trying to pick up the pieces of any last-minute change of mind.
What Do The Safety Regulations Mean?
There are several aspects to the new Vehicle Safety Regulations, although the UK could make amendments in their own version of the rules.
The Direct Vision Standards, for example, which are aimed at lorries and buses, were first developed by Transport for London before being adopted by the EU.
Under the plans, speed limiters would be fitted to all new cars and would set off an alarm or reduce engine power if drivers exceed a certain speed limit.
The choice of alert would be given to the drivers who break the speed limit would be chosen by the vehicle manufacturer, although drivers would be able to override the technology.
Speed limiters are common in many HGVs and fleet vehicles, with vehicle safety being of paramount importance, but this could see limitations introduced across the board.
Some vehicle manufacturers have already begun to use the technology in new vehicles, including Citroen and Ford.
Industry experts are calling for clarity on the rules given that plans for the changes have been afoot for several years and we’re still unclear as to whether they’ll be introduced in July or not.
The Department for Transport (DfT) was involved in developing the new safety requirements but because the UK has now left the EU, there is no obligation to introduce the rules.
What do you think of the new vehicle safety regulations? Let us know in the comments below.