European Parliament Mandates Speed Limiters on All New Cars

Ronnie Schreiber
by Ronnie Schreiber

Since speed limits were introduced, people who don’t really “get” driving have wondered why a car’s power isn’t restricted so it can’t exceed those selfsame speed limits. For most drivers, that’s a nightmare scenario, but it appears to becoming reality for European drivers.

UK based is reporting that, after approval by key members of the European Parliament of regulations proposed by the European Transport Safety Council, speed limiters and data loggers will now be mandatory equipment on all new cars. The European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection voted in favor of mandatory vehicle safety standards that could be in force within three years. Negotiations between the Parliament, Member States and the European Commission will determine how the new regulations are implemented.

The speed limiters, which go by the euphemism Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), use GPS data and possibly traffic sign recognition to determine a road’s speed limit and then limit engine power to match that speed. While it’s possible to just press harder on the accelerator and go faster, if the car exceeds the speed limit for several seconds, an audible warning signal will sound, along with a visual warning displayed until speed is reduced to the legal limit.

The new regulations also mandate data loggers, plus driver assist features like lane warnings and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection. It’s not clear if the data loggers would have any privacy protections.

ETSC would like even more stringent regulations, like making the ISA more difficult to override or defeat. As is usual when nannies like to control people, they say it’s for their own good. A banner image at the ETSC website says, “The EU saved my life,” and after the committee vote, the ETSC congratulated itself with the hashtag.

ETSC says the devices will reduce the number of collisions by 30 percent and save 25,000 lives. That figure is actually over the next 15 years, but telling millions of European motorists that their freedom will be restricted to theoretically save about 1,700 people a year probably wouldn’t sound as convincing.

[Image: European Transport Safety Council]

Ronnie Schreiber
Ronnie Schreiber

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, the original 3D car site.

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  • Multicam Multicam on Feb 28, 2019

    Serious question: will the technically-minded types be able to override this with custom tunes imported through OBD-II ports? Just re-install the stock tune before an inspection or bringing it back to the dealer for repairs. I'm one of those guys who gets annoyed by cars that beep when I don't have my seat belt on. That was one thing I liked about both my previous Jeeps... My '06 TJ just illuminated a light on the dash and my '94 YJ didn't even register that I wasn't wearing my seat belt. I don't want it on, I'm off-roading at 3 mph and am in no danger of rolling over! This speed limiter would drive me absolutely nuts. I get annoyed when technology in general insults my intelligence. Windows is a huge offender here. Examples: 1. In Windows 10, when you get a BSOD, there's a stupid large frown emoji that pops up. Is that supposed to appeal to me as a millennial? It doesn't; screw you Microsoft. Or do you think I'm too stupid to realize that a BSOD means something bad happened? 2. When you install a new program and Windows highlights it in the start menu. Thanks, Windows, for reminding me of something I just did as if I'm too stupid to remember that I installed Quake 4... 3. When I plug in a USB device and a little popup appears in the bottom right telling me about it. I know I plugged in a device, I just physically did it, I don't need a text bubble telling me that. 4. When I try to highlight text half-way through a word and it automatically highlights the rest of the word. Hey Microsoft, the mouse is one of the most accurate input methods ever invented, and believe it or not I only wanted to delete half of that word! /rant

  • Kosmo Kosmo on Feb 28, 2019

    Cue Rush's classic Red Barchetta.

  • Vulpine My first pickup truck was a Mitsubishi Sport... able to out-accelerate the French Fuego turbo by Renault at the time. I really liked the brand back then because they built a model for every type of driver, including the rather famous 300/3000GT AWD sports car (a car I really wanted, but couldn't afford.)
  • Vulpine A sedan version of either car makes it no longer that car. We've already seen this with the Mustang Mach-E and almost nobody acknowledges it as a Mustang.
  • Vulpine Not just Chevy, but GM has been shooting itself in the foot for the last three decades. They've already had to be rescued once in that period, and if they keep going as they are, they will need another rescue... assuming the US govt. will willing to lose more money on them.
  • W Conrad Sedans have been fine for me, but I were getting a new car, it would be an SUV. Not only because less sedans available, but I can't see around them in my sedan!
  • Slavuta More hatchbacks