By on September 2, 2013

 

Daily Mail Illustration

While Americans have an image of Europe as the place of autobahns with unlimited speeds, if a new proposal by the European Commission’s Mobility and Transport Department is approved, all cars on the continent could be fitted with devices that limit top speed to 70 miles per hour. Cars would possibly be equipped with cameras that would read speed limit signs on roads and apply the brakes if the legal limit is exceeded. The goal is to reduce the 30,000 annual traffic deaths in Europe by a third. The regulations would not just apply to new cars sold in Europe. Used cars would have to be retrofitted.

impcospeedlimiter

The British government told the Daily Mail that it was opposed to the proposed regulations. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin is described as having “erupted” at the news and said the move would violate motorists’ freedom. A source within the government said concerning McLoughlin’s instructions to the UK’s representatives in Brussels, “This has Big Brother written all over it and is exactly the sort of thing that gets people’s backs up about Brussels. The Commission wanted his views ahead of plans to publish the proposals this autumn. He made it very clear what those views were.”

The proposed regulation goes by the acronym ISA, for Intelligent Speed Adaptation and it could be implemented using GPS data or the above mentioned cameras. Two less extreme options to automatically slowing the car would be posting a dashboard warning to the driver, and allowing the driver to disable automatic speed limiting.  An EU spokesman said, “There is a currently consultation focusing on speed-limiting technology already fitted to HGVs and buses. Taking account of the results, the Commission will publish in the autumn a document by its technical experts which will no doubt refer to ISA among many other things.”

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78 Comments on “European Commission Plans to Mandate 70 MPH Speed Limiters in EU. UK Government Calls it “Big Brother”...”


  • avatar
    threeer

    The British erupting? I’m surprised that the Germans didn’t blow a proverbial gasket.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      The British are quite eurosceptic so are twitchy when the EU proposes things like this. Also there is likely to be a referendum on UK membership of the EU by 2017 so coming out against such bureaucratic schemes has no political downsides in the UK for the current Government.

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    Only a matter of time. Figures Europe is the epicenter.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    My 99 S-10 has a device that cuts the fuel off at 90 mph. Six months after I bought it new I was on the interstate when the engine cutoff at 90 and came back on automatically when the speed hit 80. I thought I had blown my engine. Still running after 14 years.

  • avatar
    IndianaDriver

    I think this will actually mean more accidents. Just think of all the packs of cars bunched together at 70 mph, because none of them will be able to go faster. Not a good idea.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      That’s not really a problem. Everyone driving the same speed is actually the safest condition.

      • 0 avatar
        IndianaDriver

        I drive on highways every day and when you get a group of cars going the same speed, the packs will grow and lots of cars get closer to each other than they should. It’s not until someone allows a faster car to go by that these 30+ sized car packs start to break up. Unless Europe has unusually low speed limits, say 55 mph equivalent, that would allow the faster cars to speed up to 70 mph and break the packs, I just don’t see it working. Here in the United States, this 70 mph vehicle limit would be a disaster since it seems to be the posted highway speed everywhere now anyway and there would be no possibility to speed up past it.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          IndianaDriver, in situation you describe, it isn’t the speed or the pack that’s the issue. It’s that some of the drivers are impatient and want to go faster, thus closing gaps, darting from lane to lane trying to pass, etc.

          If all those drivers would simply chill and accept the flow of traffic, maintain proper following distance and go with the flow, it would be the ideal traffic condition for everyone.

          Pig_Iron, of the reports I’ve read, the biggest factor for speed differential for accidents is people slowing for / accelerating from turns. Building turn & acceleration lanes is one of the best solutions for improving hwy safety and preventing restriction to flow.

      • 0 avatar
        Pig_Iron

        I remember a report from a temporary mobile photo radar period, and collisions did actually drop due to the reduction in speed differential. It will be like that when the haters get their self-driving cars.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve already seen this in the US. Many of our fleet trucks are limited to 65 or 70. Nothing quite so stupid as seeing two 18 wheelers on an empty highway “passing”. The passing truck has maybe a 2 mph speed advantage, so it takes forever, and traffic, which was well interspersed, bunches up behind the two trucks.

        Invariably, one of the cars is driven by the brain dead, who then repeats the 2 mph pass of the truck in the right lane.

        The statistically safest speed is 5-7 mph faster than the pack. I hate running in a clump, and am teaching my teen to be the lone wolf, not the pack animal. I don’t want anyone elses’ error to be mine, or in the alternate, don’t want to screw up someone else if I have a frain bart.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Currently in the UK it is 82mph. A Lot of people drive 70mph or better there and that at times includes towing their Caravans(speed limit is supposed to be 60mph)

  • avatar
    Garak

    Combine this with the ever-increasing talks of GPS-based mileage taxes. The Finnish government wants to start fitting cars with trackers as early as 2014 – big brother will truly be watching then.

    Also, I’d like to see how they’re going to retrofit the millions of cars with mechanical fuel injection or carburetors still on the roads.

  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    Get a grip guys. Big Brother is here now and it’s called the NSA.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    This is truly terrifying.

    Beyond what other posters have mentioned about the “Big Brother” syndrome, I can imagine that one will be required to perform a yearly compliance test, similar to the actual emissions test.

    If the vehicle fails the test, one will either: a) have to spend a gazillion euros to have it fixed, or b) sell the car at essentially junkyard prices.

    Since this is a very complex system, I can imagine all sorts of things that could go wrong with it.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Now a camera based system could be problematic but just a strict speed limiter or a GPS linked one should not cause any issues. They would just need a GPS receiver that plugged into the CAN Bus and was able to modify the existing speed limiter in real time. Virtually every car sold in the US for some time has had a speed limiter, just not one set that low. The setting is based on the quality of tires that it left the factory with and in some cases the critical speed of the driveshaft. Hand held tuners are able to adjust the speed limiter. Which is why you can find some interesting videos on Youtube of guys having their driveshaft grenade on late model V6 Mustangs when they disable the speed limiter and try to find out the top speed.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        That must be what my S-10 had was a speed limiter, at 90 the engine would cut off and then resume at 80. I think my wife’s 2000 Taurus had that as well because at a certain rpm the engine would not go beyond. I forgot exactly where but I am sure it did not go above or even to 3k rpm. I really don’t have a problem with that because I am not very likely to go above 70 mph anymore. I don’t even have a problem with the electronics on the car posting the speed limit, my Garmin GPS does this.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          I think you are confusing the rev limiter with the speed limiter. Most current cars have both and many rev limiters are two step, one for if the computer is receiving a signal that the trans is supposed to be in park or neutral and one that is active when the vehicle is in a forward gear. The rev limiters are there of course to protect the engine from damage while the speed limiters are there to either protect the mfgs from lawsuits when a tire blows up from overheating or something else exceeds its critical speed and grenades.

          In the case of a 2000 Taurus it does have a 2 step rev limiter and a speed limiter but it is certainly set for more than 70mph.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff S

            True, I have been in excess of 90 mph, but I do know the difference between a rev and speed limiter. My point is that both the rev and speed have been electronically limited. Cars today also have a device like a black box that can keep a record of how fast you go and if you applied your brakes in an accident (maybe not all cars do but some). My guess is that eventually that a system like what is mentioned in this article will be implemented in all vehicles. I am not saying this article is valid, but with the way technology is being used to monitor people that it is not a far stretch to imagine a system like this being implemented. I am not in favor of this but I see this in our future.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Well from your initial response you made it sound like the rev limiter was what limited the speed and that there was only one rev limit point on that 2000 Taurus, there is the neutral one at around 2750rpm and the in gear one at 6K, at least for the Vulcan powered ones.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        >> They would just need a GPS receiver that plugged into the CAN Bus

        GPS isn’t accurate enough – and under some conditions can be thousands of feet off. Some freeways have low speed service drives running along side the main highway. The difference in distance is less than the optimal accuracy of current GPS receivers. Once under severe conditions, I was traveling on I-95 north and the nav display was showing my vehicle about half a mile away defying the laws of physics on some very curvy back roads.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Well using GPS is one of the methods mentioned in the graphic above. The accuracy can vary that is for sure but good systems if they have a clear shot at a number of satellites can get the location down to inches.

  • avatar
    b787

    Daily Mail is a sensationalistic crap of a newspaper. Also mind that Britain is blaming European Union for everything bad since world war two. It is true that EU is testing ISA, but the version with a limiter is only the strictest one, which probably wouldn’t be approved by European parliament or member countries. Far more likely is a system that only warns drivers of a speed limit or a system that can be turned off.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      The British have not blamed the Eu for everything since WWII (also impossible since the EU was not formed for many years after WW2). The EU is a bureaucratic, over regulating, undemocratic entity and the British usually find allies who agree withe them – sometimes the Swedes and Dutch. Other times the Germans.
      Do you really think the EU doesn`t specialise in mission creep. First the ISA would only “advise” you on a speed limit (as if your eyes were not enough) but there would be calls for it to enforce it 5-10 years down the road.

      • 0 avatar
        b787

        How exactly is EU less democratic than any of the member states? European commission is elected by european parliament which is elected directly, just like goverments and national parliaments. Of course there are several stupid regulations, but in general, EU has done more good than bad for the Europe as a whole. On top of that every state can freely exit the union if it wants.

        Its funny how hypocritical some Britons are – they are complaining about european Big Brother while in reality their own government is the most Big Brotherish in Europe. Internet, for example, is massively filtered (I know it is supposed to be for the protection of children against pornography, but it is just an excuse), London is the most surveillanced city in the world etc.

        Back on topic, you may have a point with the mission creep thing, I’m also worried about the proposed GPS toll system, which could easily be abused as a tracking device.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          “How exactly is EU less democratic than any of the member states”. Wow.

          The Commission has 28 Commissioners. One per Member State plus the President of the Commission. Each member is nominated by the member states Government. That doesn`t sound exactly democratic. The European Parliament cannot veto a single commissioner and must either accept them all or deny them all. So it is factually incorrect to say they are elected by the Parliament.

          As for the farce that the Parliament is, people vote on national politics. If the Conservative Government in the UK is doing badly then the opposition Labour party will do well in the Euro elections. Same dynamic in other countries. Nobody thinks in an pan European sense. There is none. A Conservative in the UK, is different to a Gaullist in France or a Christian Democrat in Germany. Even though all three examples are considered centre right parties in their countries.
          You will also know that the Parliament cannot decide where to have a permanent base so it moves monthly from Brussels to Strasbourg at a cost of $300 million. Also the Eu accounts have not be verified by the auditors as accurate for over 10 years due to corruption concerns. I don`t see that happening elsewhere.

          The legal freedom to exit the union only became available with the recent Lisbon treaty. It was not a means available for the majority of the Eu’s life. Maybe the UK will take advantage of it in the future.

          • 0 avatar
            b787

            My mistake, only the president of the commission is elected by the parliament, while the rest of the commission is nominated by the governments.

            I agree with you that people should’t vote on national politics, but that’s not a valid argument against the parliament itself. Its like saying “people voted for Obama because he is african american, so he has no legitimacy”.

            Any source of the info about corruption?

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Links (from a variety of sources) to the long standing reluctance of the EU auditors to sign off on the accounts due to ineffective financial controls for a proportion of the EU accounts :

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/9657673/Audit-seriously-undermines-credibility-of-EU-spending.html
            http://fullfact.org/factchecks/has_eu_budget_rejected_auditors_18_years-28593
            http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7092102.stm

            As for the case about lacking a pan-European political culture. It is very much a case against the Parliament. In the US (or the UK, Germany, Canada etc) there is a political culture where one party is identified as being on one side of the political spectrum and the other main party is on the other side (simplified but broadly true). This means citizens can vote for national elections and have a reasonable idea of what they are voting for.
            In the European case parties that identify as being, lets say on the right of center can be quite different – as I mentioned before the UK Conservatives, French Guallists and German Christian Democrats. Now if an idea is proposed by the UK Conservatives it could easily be rejected by the Guallists – say privitisation of some function. People just do not have that much in common – the EU is at least in two halves. The North (UK, Germany, Holland, Scandinavia) and the South (the P.I.G.S. and France).

          • 0 avatar
            b787

            Your second link explains it all:

            “The Commission also point out that Member States control 80% of EU funds with the remainder managed directly by the Commission. This means that, by and large, member states themselves are responsible for detecting and correcting errors.”

            “As with UK statistics on fraud and error in the benefit system, with which Full Fact is well accustomed, not all of these overpayments are necessarily fraudulent. The Court makes clear that only a small proportion of errors are a result of fraud”

            The truth is error rate in the UK benefit system is 2%, half of the EU budget error rate, but the point is that such errors are nothing unusual.

            https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/203097/nsfr-final-090513.pdf

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    Today is September 1st, not April 1st.

    What? You mean this isn’t a hoax? Europe continues down the road towards being totally boned. Incrementalism. Yet another reason I prefer being a citizen of my country rather than a subject of my government. Unfortunately, as Austin observes, my government thinks otherwise.

  • avatar
    WheelMcCoy

    So, in a sense, Wiley E. Coyote could catch the Road Runner by just painting over the signs to say 25 mph. I hope the EU isn’t serious because the plan has ACME written all over it.

    Speed is an easy target. Better safety is achieved by:

    1. Doing the flow of traffic
    2. Using turn signals
    3. Not camping out on the left lane

    • 0 avatar
      99GT4.6

      Haha! I can only imagine kids going out at 3am and replacing signs on the highway with some 15 mph ones and laughing at the ensuing huge traffic jam.

      • 0 avatar
        chuckrs

        Something similar already done a few years ago, although I can’t find the link. High schoolers printed paper license plates with numbering from teachers’ cars. They then sped by speed cameras – and the teachers got the fines in the mail.

  • avatar
    gmichaelj

    How about everybody swims along at 70, sees how safe it is and realizes that we could all do the same thing at 90, or 100, or whatever. This might be nice on long hauls across rural interstates. Of course your car (and everyone else’s) will have to have good tires, suspension, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The problem is that many states have different speed limits for trucks. That makes for some dangerous situations. Many times when traveling I5 through N CA I’ve been cruising along with the cruise set when I’m just about to pass a truck and the guy in the car or the other truck following him decides to pull out and pass him finally causing me to have to slam on the brakes.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Works just fine on the Autobahn. The trucks are limited to 90 or 100kmh, cars are often unlimited, or limited to 130kmh. No problem. Just requires that everyone not be stupid, which is a huge problem in the US.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          If you crash on an Autobahn , you pay for EVERYTHING.

        • 0 avatar
          Japanese Buick

          Just came back from a week in Germany. When speed is limited on the Autobahns, which is much more often than people think, the limits are 80 (in work zones), 100, or 120. I saw no 130 limits though admittedly I didn’t drive every Autobahn. Trucks are generally limited to 80 and forbidden from passing. Add to that German lane discipline which while not perfect is very good and its a beautiful thing to zip by the stopped or creeping line of trucks in the right lane, in congested or works areas knowing that at home in similar conditions traffic would be stop and roll.

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    B787, does the word incrementalism mean anything to you? 15 years ago when cameras popped up everywhere is was to monitor traffic. Yeah, right.

    • 0 avatar
      b787

      I don’t think it is a good idea, but low on facts, sensationalistic reporting is not a solution.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Is the report correct in saying a system is being evaluated? Is the report correct in stating several possible outcomes including upto controlling the car? The report may have latched onto the most extreme situation but that doesn`t make it inaccurate. Not everyone in “Europe” wants to be controlled by EU bureaucrats enjoying a hypocritical lox tax existence in Brussels and Strasbourg.

  • avatar
    redav

    First, I have to question if this is a serious proposal. If it is–

    They want to reduce the 30,000 deaths/yr by a third. Do they know that speeds exceeding 70 mph is a cause of 10,000 deaths? Is the intent to get the dumbass ‘GO FAST’ crowd off the streets? I would be very interested to see a Pareto chart of cause of deaths.

    Or perhaps the safety goal is a red herring, and the intent is to control (in a round-about way) the types of vehicles produced & sold. It seems reasonable people won’t buy as many sports cars if they can’t drive them faster than 70 mph. Is this an end-around to reduce engine power & emissions? They already tax the size of the engine, the emissions, and the fuel, so reducing interest in certain cars further through limiting how they can be used seems plausible.

    While I’m all-for enforcing speed limits and reducing deaths, this seems the wrong approach, and I seriously doubt the motives.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The proposal doesn’t call for limiting cars to 70 mph.

      What it calls for is having an electronic governor that limits a vehicle’s speed to whatever the speed limit is at the time. For the UK, that would mean a maximum speed of 70 mph because that happens to be the maximum limit there.

      In other countries with higher speed limits, the governors would act accordingly, which would allow the Germans to maintain autobahnen without limits. If the UK would raise the limit to 80 mph (an idea that has been discussed for years, but has never been implemented), then cars could go 80 mph on 80 mph roads.

      I dislike the proposal, but the Conservative government is using it to promote their usual Eurosceptic agenda. It is also an effort to avoid discussing their failure to push for an 80 mph limit, despite pre-election talk that claimed that they would try to raise it.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        They have mentioned the 80mph limit since the election but since they are in coalition it is not always possible to get everything they want (just like the reapportioning of constituencies also died).

        “Promote their usual Eurosceptic agenda”. You say that as if it is a bad thing. Quite the opposite, the EU is unpopular in the UK (and increasingly in many other European nations) exactly because it strayed from being a free, single (common) market. It was never tasked with road safety or other items that are best left to nation states.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          “They have mentioned the 80mph limit since the election but since they are in coalition it is not always possible to get everything they want”

          The coalition isn’t the issue.

          Phillip Hammond, the previous Conservative transport secretary, kept talking up the 80 mph limit. But his Conservative successor, Patrick McLoughlin (the same McLoughlin who is complaining about the ISA concept), personally opposes the speed limit increase.

          This isn’t a matter of party politics. McLoughlin just doesn’t believe in the 80 mph limit, and he won’t be having the test trails that were previously proposed. He has the power to kill it off, and he has.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Fair enough, but I don`t see the inability of the Government in raising the limit to 80mph detracts from their criticism of this plan. The actual speed limit is irrelevant since everyone would be driving at the same speed – short of some very high limit where only some cars (or some drivers are willing to drive) could get there, say 150mph.

  • avatar
    sitting@home

    “The British government told the Daily Mail that it was opposed to the proposed regulations.”

    Most probably because it would curtail their ability to rake in money from fines generated by automated and average speed cameras distributed the length and breadth of the country.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Agreed, after all that’s a major reason why radar detectors are still illegal in Virginia. Which a lot of municipalities stated that lifting the ban on detectors would seriously cut into their revenue.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX (formerly gslippy)

    How un-American. For a while, anyway.

    In the US, 1/3 of highway deaths are alcohol-related; maybe the same is true in Europe. Any chance the Eurocrats want to tackle that issue instead?

  • avatar
    Zekele Ibo

    The most important part of this story is that it is NOT TRUE.

    Anyone who has any passing knowledge of the UK knows never to trust any news item about Europe (or anything else for that matter) published by the Daily Mail newspaper.

    See: http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK/reports-of-brussels-big-brother-bid-to-impose-speed-controls-are-inaccurate-beyond-the-limit-2/

    Here’s the relevant quote:

    “The Commission has not tabled – and does not have in the pipeline – even a non-binding Recommendation, let alone anything more.”

    It’s the same discriminatory, anti-Europe tripe recycled by a low-rent pseudo-news-organization who put a low priority on reporting facts. I believe you may find comparisons in the USA ;)

    So, again, the discussion is maybe worthwhile in itself, but the “story” is simply not true in any way.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The story was also published yesterday by The Guardian.

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/01/uk-fights-eu-speed-limit-devices

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      >> The most important part of this story is that it is NOT TRUE.

      Thanks Zekele Ibo for pointing this out and supplying a link.

      I’m aware that the Daily Mail is more akin to daily junk mail, so I had my doubts about this story. And I agree, this topic is still a worthwhile discussion.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      The real shocker, true or not, is that the EU bureaucracy doing something like that is so believable. When there are no elected officials with something to lose looking over their shoulder, petty functionaries tend to become, well, petty.

      • 0 avatar
        Zekele Ibo

        >> The real shocker, true or not, is that the EU bureaucracy doing something like that is so believable.

        So the truth isn’t important, then?

        Oh, and it’s not a shocker that some people will believe any old bullshit that conforms to their prejudices.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          “So the truth isn’t important, then?”

          The truth lies somewhere in between the Daily Mail’s version of the story and yours.

          The Daily Mail isn’t the only outlet where this has been reported. The left-of-center Guardian and right-wing Telegraph have both covered it; it isn’t just a tabloid story.

          The European Commission has been studying it for years. Its position on Intelligent Speed Adaptation, while not yet formalized into specific policy recommendations, is clearly favorable. http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/specialist/knowledge/esave/esafety_measures_known_safety_effects/intelligent_speed_adaptation_isa.htm

          Among their cited references, you’ll find a paper from the European Transport Safety Council that calls for ISA to be implemented, and quickly.

          If the UK or anyone else is going to object to the idea, then the time is now. The European Commission is moving along a path that, if successful, will lead to implementation of such a plan. The introduction of ISA may not be as immediate or concrete as the Daily Mail would have you believe, but there is no doubt that the ball is in motion and that there are policy makers in Europe who want to see this through.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            I find it interesting that you call the Telegraph a right wing paper, but the Guardian merely a left of centre paper. If anything to be consistent you should call the Guardian a left wing paper since it does advocate (and have columnists expressing support for) some pretty left wing ideas.

        • 0 avatar

          Actually,the bones ARE TRUE,just the details have been muddled:

          “…was identified by the European Commission as a key issue more than a decade ago. In a resolution in June 2000, it recommended “the use of advanced assisted driving technology which has considerable potential for improving road safety”, calling for research in “technology relating to speed limitation devices and to identify any technical, organisational, administrative and legal difficulties in introducing them”
          “…From all this, the current proposals have emerged. And the system has acquired a name: “Intelligent Speed Adaptation” (ISA). It is also referred to as “Intelligent Speed Assistance”, with an Orwellian description to boot.
          We are told that it will either warn drivers when they exceed the local limit (supportive ISA), or it will be used for “actively aiding the driver to abide by the limit” (known as “intervening ISA”) – preventing the driver going faster than the posted limit. Thus, drivers are not prevented from speeding. The system merely “assists” them to stay within the posted speed limits.
          Contrary to multiple media reports, though, there is no question of the system applying the brakes when posted speeds are exceeded. Limiters will be wired into engine management systems (EMS) and reduce fuel flow once the posted speed is reached, effectively becoming externally moderated cruise control systems.”
          “…The system will, of course, rely on the Galieo(sic) satellite positioning system. And, already, the UK is preparing speed limit database, which will be at its heart. Each vehicle will have an on-board map database (the “digital speed map”), which will then constantly compare its speed with the location’s known speed limit.
          EU satellite location equipment will be fitted to each car – at the owner’s expense, so the Commission has found its way of recovering the costs of the system. But it will be a Trojan Horse. This is tracking technology. Built into every car, it will also provide the fundamentals for satellite-based road charging.”
          “…Now the system lies within the realms of possibility, it will be used. And with road safety being an EU competence, agreed by QMV, there is nothing UK politicians can do to stop it, even if they wanted to. And despite McLoughlin’s protestations, the UK is already making the technical preparations, with TfL having already produced digital speed maps. Far from trying to stop its introduction, it looks as if our Government is an enthusiastic partner with the Commission.”
          http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=84296
          (Note,EUReferendum.com is a site dedicated to getting the UK out of the EU. However,the blogger used to be a policy wonk and will sink his teeth into an issue to understand both the pros and the cons and what a proposal under discussion actually means and who actually is proposing it.)

    • 0 avatar

      Zekele Ibo,
      Thanks for providing a link to the official EU Commission blog.

      There’s no question that they are pushing back against the UK government’s handling of this story and the way Fleet Street is spinning it. Still, I don’t see a categorical denial that it isn’t something they’re considering long term.

      Yes, it’s the work product of a low level working group, not a tabled recommendation, but then most laws and regulations start out as the work product of staff members, not legislators.

      I’ll note in passing that the same EU Commission blog that you linked to has quite a number of posts criticizing the media. To me the fact that it’s representing politicians and its combative stance says to me that the EU Commission blog is probably about as credible as any White House spokesperson.

      Nothing in the “foreseeable future” but no categorical denial. Plenty of wiggle room:

      “The Commission has not tabled – and does not have in the pipeline – even a non-binding Recommendation, let alone anything more.

      The Commission has supported past research into ISA. There is a current stakeholder consultation and study focusing on speed limiting technology already fitted to HGVs and buses. One aspect of that is whether ISA could in the long-term be an alternative. And a second consultation on in-vehicle safety systems in general. Taking account of the consultation results, the Commission will publish in the autumn a document by its technical experts which will no doubt refer to ISA among many other things. That is all. (NB such “staff working documents” are not adopted by the Commission at political level and have no legal status.) Nothing more is expected in the foreseeable future.

      It is part of the EC’s job – because it has been mandated to do so by Member States, including the UK – to look at, promote research into and consult stakeholders about new road safety technology which might ultimately save lives. This is done in close cooperation with Member States and the UK has generally supported such efforts.”

  • avatar
    99GT4.6

    This is an absolutely terrible idea. I don’t see how they can possibly force people to retrofit the system onto older cars. Shouldn’t those be grandfathered? I imagine next they will want to ban all classic cars that can’t use a system like this. The whole thing reeks of big government gone WAY too far. I hope Canada never gets any crazy idea like this. They say they want to reduce traffic deaths by a third but I am betting there is no proof that a third of deaths are caused by speed alone.

  • avatar
    brenschluss

    The Daily Mail is not a legitimate source. There was a way to cover this, and this was not it. Maybe start at the beginning:

    ec dot europa dot eu/transport/road_safety/pdf/sld_10_06_2013/pr4_scenarios_and_methodology.pdf

    It’s not a “plan,” and responses to the “evaluation study” will probably guarantee that invasive systems will not become part of any light-vehicle plan, even if just some toothless non-binding recommendation, any time soon.

    You can do better, TTAC.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      “You can do better, TTAC.”

      We can ALL do better always, but TTAC was right to note the article – it caused an uproar, and that is news. The fact that such EU action sounded plausible, not only to Americans, but Britons too, is the real story, but you can’t see it without the uproar that must be reported first.

    • 0 avatar
      Zekele Ibo

      I don’t “blame” TTAC, as far as I’m aware this is a North American publication with limited resources in the EU, dependent on English-language news outlets (that means almost always the UK), and not well-versed in the bias of those news outlets.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        You’d be surprised how many of us Americans out here in the North American sticks are aware of the various biases of European publications, and not just the British ones. Now that many Americans are connected to those internet tubes, we can monitor those publications.

        In addition, a lot of us actually learned foreign languages, and many of us were stationed in places like Germany, where we picked up a little of the local lingo. Those European biases are on display to those who, for instance, can read both the English and German online versions of Der Spiegel. They seem to be toning down the most obvious bias on their internet editions, now that online translations are available in real time. We cheeseburger eaters are catching on!

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I assume the publications you read have no “bias” and only those who express a viewpoint you don`t like have “bias”.
        Name me a publication in the UK that does not have a “bias”. Guardian and FT from a left view point and Telegraph (and Times to some extent) from a right of centre viewpoint.

  • avatar

    I believe it when I see it.

  • avatar

    From what I was reading about this is that it’s a proposal, not a declaration of a new rule or policy. It also applies to whatever the speed limit is. The 70mph is mentioned because it’s the top speed in the UK.

    Honestly, as someone who drives the speed limit most of the time anyway, I wouldn’t mind a cruise control system that would be tied to known speed limits that I could activate by choice. If I’m going along at the 70mph speed limit, and it drops to 50 while going into a town, the cruise would know that and drop my speed accordingly. However, the important point of this is that I could choose whether or not to activate it myself.

    • 0 avatar
      Japanese Buick

      Exactly. The first clue that its bogus is the idea that the EU would mandate a system that used nonmetric units as its basis. If they had said 130kph, which is the most common national speed limit in Europe this might have gotten past the initial laugh test.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        As I’ve noted elsewhere on this thread, the essence of the story isn’t bogus.

        The EU really is considering Intelligent Speed Adaptation. I’ve provided a link elsewhere on this thread that shows that the European Commission is actively exploring it and its findings are supportive of it. They are clearly moving in the direction of recommending it.

        The UK transport secretary has voiced his objections to it.

        The headlines made a reference to 70 mph because those stories were written for a British audience. The maximum speed limit in the UK is currently 70 mph. The idea of ISA is to limit drivers to the speed limit on that particular road, whatever it happens to be at a given location, so that restriction will obviously vary from place to place.

  • avatar
    krayzie

    It’ll be funny if this causes the EU to break up.

  • avatar

    What is wrong with these retards in Sacramento? How they didn’t come up with this brilliant idea first?

  • avatar

    After analyzing this news a little bit further I have an idea: Russian and Chinese hackers, if you read this – it is a good opportunity to cause a big mess in Europe.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    No Scoutdude, we no longer have that Taurus but it had the 24 valve Overhead Cam V-6 which was a sweet running engine. The Taurus was my wife’s car which we traded for a new CRV last June. Taurus was a great running car and was very reliable. Is Scoutdude in reference to the IH Scout? If so I have good memories of IH.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    It appears that this story was “sexed up” a bit, perhaps to make a political point. But that point, it seems to me, is still worth making: what is the utility of implementing some EU-wide automatic speed enforcing mechanism in European motor vehicles? Is this really a good use of someones’ tax dollars? Don’t these people have something better to do with their time? If not, maybe they’re not needed.

    And, of course, the old shibboleth: confusing correlation with causation. That is, how many of these fatal accidents are actually caused by speeding as opposed to various kinds of driver misbehavior/incompetence/impairment? And of these that are caused by nothing more than speeding, by how much is the perpetrator exceeding the posted limit. I can certainly the possibility of a possibly fatal accident, when a driver going the, say, 60 mph limit pulls into the left lane to pass a slow-moving truck and then gets rear-ended by a car going 100. Obviously, the driver of the car that was rear ended could not see, or did not expect, the car behind him to be closing him at a relative speed of 40 mph. I’m just not sure that kind of thing happens very often.

  • avatar
    beefmalone

    If THE FREAKIN’ UK thinks something is an invasion of privacy and personal freedom then you’ve gotta be talking something one step away from Hitler and Stalin wrapped up in a ball with an Obama ribbon…which pretty much sums up the idea of government speed limiters.


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