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European MEPs pass proposals for vehicle speed limiters

But we'll be able to over-ride them – initially at least.

WE'VE HAD a few messages about this from concerned readers (hat tip to Chris Taylor) – so we’ve done some digging. What has happened is that a committee of MEPs in the European Parliament have approved a set of measures aimed at improving road safety. Much of it is stuff we probably all agree on – making automatic emergency braking setups mandatory, improving vision on trucks and busses to make pedestrians and two-wheeled traffic safer, better crash testing and other safety measures.

                                

But there is one – Intelligent Speed Assistance – which has raised our hackles a bit. This could be an onboard system, rather like a seatbelt warning, which would sound an alert when you went over a speed limit. A range of tech – GPS and onboard sign-reading cameras, say – would let the vehicle no when it’s in a 30mph zone, and if you went faster, it would activate the alert. Hmmm.

Now, the measures passed say the ISA system would be over-ridable, which in the ideal situation, would make it a feature you can simply disable altogether and forget about. Worst case though, it could be like traction control on many current bikes, which comes on every time you turn the ignition on, and has to be disabled every time.

And if you think Brexit will save you – the consensus seems to be that it won’t, even if it does happen. For one thing, companies will be making one main vehicle design for the whole of Europe, so the UK will likely get the same kit as the rest of the EU. And UK governments will almost certainly copy all ‘safety’ regs passed in the EU too.

So – bikes aren't mentioned specifically - but there’s a chance that all new vehicles will have some variant of this tech from 2025. But it won’t be compulsory, and the dystopian vision of computerised speed controllers keeping us all at 69.9mph on the motorway is still some way off.

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