Speed limiters to be mandatory in the UK from 2022

Mandatory speed limitersAdaptive speed limiters could become mandatory on cars sold in the United Kingdom after 2022, following new provisional regulations approved by MEPs.

The news follows similar proposals by the European Transport Safety Council. It’s expected the regulations will have no trouble getting full approval.

How will the Intelligent Speed Assistance work?

The systems will work using speed sign recognition, as well as GPS data, but this won’t be via automatic application of the brakes. Rather, power or rev limiters will be used, such as those restricting certain German cars to 155mph.

Retroactive fitment of the system isn’t likely, but wouldn’t be impossible, given that a lot of the technology is already in use.

Note the little speed limit sign that appears on most new cars sat-nav screens. It’s also how a lot of adaptive cruise control systems adjust speed, too.

Hard or soft speed limiters?

For now, the speed limiters, otherwise known as Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), won’t be concrete. You’ll be able to push through by pressing hard on the accelerator.

It is suggested by the ETSC, however, that warnings should flash and sound, should you spend an extended amount of time at speeds above the ISA limit. Think of the bonging sound you get when you leave your lights on after you open your door, or if you forget to buckle your seatbelt.

Mandatory speed limiters

Whether soft limiters could turn hard in the future remains to be seen. It’s certainly a possibility.

It’s predicted by the ETSC that as many as 25,000 lives could be saved in the 15 years following the introduction of ISA systems after 2022. That’s as a result of a predicted 30 percent drop in traffic collisions.

While the legislation is primarily a European-led project, the UK’s Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) has said that it plans to go through with limiters, as well as other mandatory safety systems, in the style of the European legislation. There’s no debate ammunition in this for staunch Brexit ‘leavers’, therefore.

More than 50,000 motorists a year hit with fines on smart motorways

More than 50,000 drivers a year hit with fines on smart motorways

More than 50,000 motorists a year hit with fines on smart motorways

The number of motorists hit with fixed penalty fines by speed cameras on smart motorways has increased by 50,000 over the last five years.

An investigation by the BBC’s One Show found that 52,516 tickets were issued on smart stretches of the M1, M25, M4, M42 and M6 in 2014-15.

This has increased from 2,023 in 2010-11 – before smart motorways were commonplace.

Smart motorways use overhead gantries to change speed limits as well as open and close lanes (including the hard shoulder) to ease congestion.

These gantries often have average speed cameras monitoring traffic when lower speed limits are in place – turning off when the motorway is running at the national speed limit of 70mph.

The investigation discovered that the revenue raised by cameras on smart motorways every year increased from £150,600 five years ago to more than £1.1 million.

Police in Nottinghamshire issued 8,489 tickets along one section of the M1 last year, amounting to £425,000 in fines. In 2010, no drivers were hit with fines along this section.

Last year, Bedfordshire’s police and crime commissioner Olly Martins controversially suggested activating speed cameras on the M1 when 70mph limits are in place – in a bid to raise much-needed cash for the force.

“For many years RAC research has shown that a majority of motorists regard speed cameras primarily as revenue generators for the police,” said RAC chief engineer David Bizley at the time. “And it appears that the Bedfordshire police and crime commissioner harbours this view too, or at least he is using this as an opportunity to make a very serious point about resourcing.

“Motorists tell us that they would like to see better enforcement and more roads police officers, but enforcement needs to be prioritised in terms of road safety benefits and not in terms of the value of the revenues generated.”

Currently there are around 236 miles of smart motorways in the UK – and this number could almost double in the near future.

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