By on February 27, 2019

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 Evo.co.uk 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 #LastNightTheEUSavedMyLife 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]

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95 Comments on “European Parliament Mandates Speed Limiters on All New Cars...”


  • avatar
    Ce he sin

    When this news first surfaced several days ago it was a proposal. At what point has it actually been enacted, or is this just scaremongering?

  • avatar
    mzr

    Driving is a privilege, not a right you knob.

    • 0 avatar

      I can’t recall referencing rights or privileges in the article. If your comment was directed at the author of this post, you should know that attacking our writers has always been a violation of site policy. In Farago’s days that would have gotten a last warning.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Driving on public roads is a privilege provided by people whom I vote into office. Kinda circular that way. None of it means I should be kissing anyone’s arse for the privilege of driving.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Nonsense.

        God, or evolution, giving you legs able to let you walk with, and a brain and limbs able to drive a car with, is all the guaranteed right to move about as you see fit, anyone will ever need.

        States may well have the PRIVILEGE, if granted by the people, to REGULATE how this moving about is to take place. But REGULATE, contrary to contemporary delusion, is distinctly different from PROSCRIBE.

        If the state tell you that if you are to drive, you are barred from driving on the left side of the road, they are regulating behavior. As is their privilege. Since you can still drive on the right side. And, as opposed to lots of Southern style “separate but equal”, the right side really is equal to the left side.

        But if the state told you that you cannot drive on the left side, but neither could you drive on the right side, nor anywhere in between, they are attempting to PROSCRIBE you from engaging in an activity that it is your natural right to engage in. Hence, whatever they say is null and void, and you are well within your right to drive wherever the heck you darned well please.

        YOU are the one granting the state any privilege they may have. Not the other way around. You already have been given the privilege to anything you are capable of doing. By either your maker, and/or evolution. Both of which trump a bunch of self promoting twits any day and in every way.

  • avatar
    jatz

    Holy crap… I’m a right-lane slow poke but this spooks even me.

    “an audible warning signal will sound, along with a visual warning displayed until speed is reduced to the legal limit”

    Oh… it just taunts you every time-a.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    speed limiters = fightin’ words

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Enemy of the State.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m playing my Lee Greenwood cassette so much it is starting to wear out.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    The EU becomes more draconian and intrusive by the day. They’re only hastening its eventual dissolution.

  • avatar
    RangerM

    “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.”

    Did I miss the definition of speed limiter? Or, does it now mean speed nanny?

  • avatar
    TR4

    I wonder how that will work on the “unrestricted” sections of the Autobahn. Will the cars stick to the “advisory” 130kph limit?

  • avatar
    TMA1

    This is what happens when 1984 gets on the banned book list. Even China isn’t trying to be this Orwellian yet, and their cities have cameras placed everywhere to photograph drivers.

    • 0 avatar
      -Nate

      ? Where is Orwell’s 1984 banned ? .

      It was recommended reading when I was in grade school eons ago .

      -Nate

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Not aware of it being banned anywhere… (and I’m in education.)

        Twain is more likely to get banned for his use of the “n-word.”

        • 0 avatar
          -Nate

          Just so ~ the whackos always jump to fear mongering first regardless of the truth .

          I picked up a textbook for the first time in decades last night, a Social Studies one for California, the first thirty pages were all ADVERTISEMENTS and the following pages looked like a computer study guide, nothing like I’d ever seen before .

          I doubt any of the three or four previous students it had been issued to, ever cracked it.

          I read a bit and was appalled .

          It even said America tried communism and failed at it ! .

          I have much pity on you as an Educator if this is the crap tools they give you to work with .

          -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            rnc

            Don’t think they have text books anymore here, everything my kid does is on a Chromebook.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            Hi have no idea what a chromebook is I’m betting some sort of tablet device .

            That America’s ability to read, much less comprehend, is declining rapidly, makes me sad, very sad .

            -Nate

        • 0 avatar
          chuckrs

          Twain’s use of the n-word was meant to be instructive. Banning his work indicates a lack of critical thinking and a lack of knowledge of history and context. This is, of course, double-plus ungood.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @chuckrs – of course, Twain lived long enough to see his books banned while he was still breathing.

            My two favorite quotes of his were: “Imagine you were a complete idiot, now imagine you were a member of Congress. Wait, I’m repeating myself.”

            “First God made idiots, that was for practice. Then he made School Boards.”

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        I was exaggerating. I was thinking more along the lines of, “those who forget 1984, are doomed to live it.”

        In other news, 1984 was banned in China last year. Not necessarily the novel (the news is unclear), but literally the ability to refer to the novel when posting online.

      • 0 avatar

        “It was recommended reading when I was in grade school eons ago”

        It was then. Today it is the “New Green Deal”.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      Orwell wrote how-to books.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    What’s the point in driving yourself then?

    Exactly.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Oh, boy ~ here we go .

    I’m a speeder too, one more reason to keep my old jalopy, it goes over 100 when I want it to, safely and with no fuss .

    I like to drive @ 80 ~ 85, rarely much faster .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    That will depend on European voters. In a culture where they are taught from childhood always to obey government officials, they may not resist. Americans are different but, even here, more and more people are willing to trade personal freedom for government handouts.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Truth. Lots of people are eager to trade freedom for promises of security. The state is always happy to oblige, and the amount of control is never enough. Your communication, your education, your health, your transportation, your food, your self-defense. They want it all. Plenty of people are happy to hand it over.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        While it is all the rage to, uh, rage against Uncle Sam, the sellout of privacy is directly in the crosshairs of Corporate America not the gov’t. That electronic tracking device in everybody’s pocket has done more to invade privacy than the US gov’t.

        As for limiters, I am a “speeder”. As such I am completely opposed to such devices. Just wait until data trackers are required by insurance companies as opposed to being optional. BTW, before the left lane 55ers get their tissues wet with tears for all the children, the only at-fault accident I was involved in was removing a driver side mirror from a parked car. This to avoid a head-on. All in 750,000 miles of driving.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          This sort of move in the USA would finally force me to restore my 67 Mustang with proper brakes suspension rebuild etc just so I could drive it at high rates of speed.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      FBI already collecting everyone’s DNA. We’re effectively in a police state situation

    • 0 avatar
      Ce he sin

      I’m intrigued by your claim that European voters are “taught from childhood always to obey government officials”, the implication that people elsewhere are encouraged to civil disobedience. I live in a European country where I don’t ever recall being encouraged to blind obedience of those in authority. Could you give some examples?

      • 0 avatar
        jatz

        It’s just easier for us to be jingoistic dumbschits about Europe than to learn much about it through visiting and extended conversation with you all, maybe even in your first language.

        Perhaps if you’d throw over your aversion to deodorant?

        I mean, damn, your professional are always stinking up such nice clothing!

  • avatar
    Funky D

    Crap like this is why, if I were a Briton, I would have voted for Brexit in no uncertain terms!

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Eh, Britain is already a police state. It had at one point recently the highest per capita rate of surveillance cameras in the world.

      • 0 avatar
        EGSE

        Had a discussion at work about how the British are more upset about employers reading their e-mails (on the employers network) than the government.

        In the U.S. we’re more upset about the government reading our e-mails than our employers.

        • 0 avatar
          multicam

          Anybody who expects any degree of privacy online without taking the proper precautions is naive and needs to catch up to reality. Get yourselves VPNs, folks… and that’s just the starting point.

  • avatar
    EGSE

    For lack of a better term this is what I call lowest common denominator thinking, i.e. a one-eyed octogenarian with Alzheimers will set the ceiling for everyone.

  • avatar
    pbx

    No indication of course as to what speed the ‘limiter’ will activate. In North America setting the limit at 210 km/h or 130 mph wouldn’t cause hardship to too many people.

    The other consideration is that tires are speed rated. The speed rating tells you the maximum velocity a tire can sustain before it’s in danger of blowing out. Most family sedans and vans have S or T rated tires, meaning it’s best to keep them under 112 miles per hour (180.2 kilometers per hour) and 118 miles per hour (189.9 kilometers per hour), respectively.

    Doesn’t the Ford Mustang GT have a manufacture limited top speed?

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Limiting top speed for vehicle/tire concerns are not unreasonable. Limiting them to satisfy a politically/financially speed limit is.

    • 0 avatar
      Ce he sin

      If this proposal ever comes to pass the system (which isn’t intended to be a limiter as such at least initially)will be linked to a GPS system to refer to the actual limit in force.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Which is prone to be rife with errors. And special circumstances!

        For instance the school zone, posted 20mph during restricted hours, normally 25mph. Both of which feel like you’re crawling, given the condition of the street, sight lines, etc.! (I set my adaptive cruise at 33mph, and during non-school hours at least, have gone by a local cop running laser, and haven’t been touched!)

        So what is “restricted hours?” What database is going to have that? What about summer vacation?

        There’s a subset of the populace where I live that would probably commit suicide if the sign said “Jump Off This Bridge” instead of an underposted speed limit! And I’ve actually had to sit behind an idiot following that school limit to the tee at *** 3:00 on a Saturday morning!! *** (Heck, the availability of full-stop capability in an adaptive cruise system will be a must on any vehicle I obtain from now on, in order for THE CAR, and not my lead foot, to be able to control the speed; my current Accord’s ACC drops out at 22mph!)

        If speed limits were set at the 85th-percentile speed as a rule, perhaps this would be a less bitter pill (even though I’m still against this draconian stuff because of the overreach)! But they certainly aren’t where I am — just some ridiculously low number guaranteed to make all but those who most love Big Brother assisting them with their toilet activities into criminals!

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I propose we return to the 55mph national speed limit here in the US as a first step toward implementing the green new deal.

  • avatar
    dwford

    The logical interim step towards the goal of controlling the movement of the citizenry – at least until autonomous cars come along.

  • avatar
    Sloomis

    I’ve long thought we’ll have the same thing here in the US sooner than later, but in true American fashion it’ll be at the directive of Big Business (namely insurance companies) rather than Big Government. Insurers already offer a discount if you voluntarily install their data tracker in your car; I predict one day it will be mandatory if you want them to insure it for you. Speed limiters would be the next logical step after that…

  • avatar
    philipwitak

    changes aren’t permanent – but change is

    people get ready, there’s ‘big change’ a-comin’

  • avatar
    Lockstops

    Ok, so I better follow the example of Will Ferrell in ‘Get Hard’ and start training, because this means that unless I move to the USA then I will one way or another end up in prison.

  • avatar
    mittencuh

    Now Brexit finally makes sense.

  • avatar
    Boxerman

    Also mandated is autoomous emergency braking. Functionaly that means the manual transmission is dead.

    With speed limiters where will speeding revenue come from.
    Ironical inn the USA out highway patrol and attendat pensions are on the speeders side in still allowing the ability to speed,(and collect)

    Saving lives, I’ll bet if we ban cars and any vehicle that can go above 20 mph we’ll save even more lives.

    I’d like to ban mountain climbing, scuba divng, swiming in the sea where theres sharks. Maybe ban lightening too, although the EU probably does not have that authority.

    how about letting people LIVE.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Ban humans.

    • 0 avatar
      stuart

      ?

      My ’17 Mazda has autonomous emergency braking, and a clutch pedal.

    • 0 avatar
      Ce he sin

      There’s no reason why you can’t have emergency braking on a manual car and there are several available thus equipped. If the AEB brings you to a halt the engine will stall unless you press the clutch but that’s hardly the end of the world. You can just start it again….

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Stupidly, though, some of those same cars make you set the electric parking brake to restart the car!

        Or, “How to Win the Hearts of Everyone Behind You At A Traffic Light if Your Clutch Work..NEEDS SOME WORK!” By “Your Government Overlords, a.k.a., Resistance Is Futile, You Will Be Assimilated!”

        • 0 avatar
          iNeon

          Why, exactly, is it impossible to engineer a solenoid to disengage the clutch for automatic braking or remote starting?

          The only thing anyone wanted to know about the new (July 2018) car: “OMG DOES IT START ITSELF?!?”

          “No. it’s a stick shift.”

          BUT WHYYYYYYY

          • 0 avatar
            TR4

            To remote start a stick shift car would require either the clutch disengaged as you suggest or having the transmission in neutral. Either way the vehicle is no longer held immobile by the stopped engine and the transmission in first or reverse gear. It is dependent on the parking brake for this. An automatic vehicle though has the parking pawl which is far more reliable than the typical poorly maintained or unused parking brake.

          • 0 avatar
            iNeon

            The stickshifts that would theoretically be getting remote start and automated braking systems would already have automatic parking brakes. My stickshift car’s automatic parking brake stops/stalls the thing out if I open the door while in reverse.

            Things have gotten weird for stickshifts. They’re not exactly manual.

            They might as well just make them DCTs with videogame clutch pedals and shifters that control the clutch solenoids. For real, why isn’t this how it’s done?

            Is my 2018 MY car’s clutch even directly connected to the pedal? Sure doesn’t feel like it.

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    Let’s try contextualizing this for a moment outside the Big Brother/Government Nanny prisms.

    If the goal is to have autonomous or at least semi-autonomous roads, a limiter like this would help reduce some amount of uncertainty from a technology perspective. A car being driven by some .NET application in 2030 is going to optimize based on speed limit, fuel economy, and congestion. If it knows that, say, half of the vehicles it can’t ping through the car-to-car network are not likely to exceed the speed limit it can plan accordingly. This is a step in that direction.

    Note that I’m not saying this is a Good Idea and as always, the vehicle use case in much of the US is vastly different from much of the EU. I don’t see the need on the Interstates. But I can see an application on, say, streets that border playgrounds and schools. Yes, I’m playing the “think of the children!” card, but only in narrow circumstances.

    That being said, I certainly understand the slippery slope aspect here and the likelihood that any actual implementation would not involve common sense.

    • 0 avatar
      jatz

      “outside the Big Brother/Government Nanny prisms”

      That’s like the Architect Sketch outside the rotating blades prism.

      Otherwise, your comment is the soul of earnest, informed objectivity.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    I would have playing on my infotainment system Sammy Hagar’s “I can’t drive 55”, at thermonuclear decibel levels.

  • avatar
    macmcmacmac

    I just wish I could figure out how to use those damn three seashells.

  • avatar
    multicam

    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

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Cue Rush’s classic Red Barchetta.


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