Speed limiters will become mandatory for cars in July, bikes next?

Speed limiting software is set to become mandatory for cars in the UK from July, but motorcycles remain unlimited, for now at least.

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IN the UK, cars are set to be fitted with speed-limiting technology on a mandatory basis from July. 

The British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) reports that all new cars sold in the UK from July will be mandated to be fitted with speed-limiting software. 

The software, called Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), is already implemented by some car manufacturers, such as Ford, Mercedes, and Renault, according to the BMF, but will become mandatory for all new cars from July 2022. ISA limits the speed of the car to the prevailing limit on the road the car is currently on; so, if you’re driving in a 30mph zone, it will limit to 30mph. The software can be overridden by the driver, though, the BMF notes.

“ISA is part of the General Safety Regulation (GSR) passed by the EU in October 2021 and includes a number of items besides ISA, such as Automatic Emergency Braking,” Anna Zee, Political and Technical Services Director of the BMF explained.

Zee continued, “Yes, we will see this on cars sold in the UK because there is no law to say they must not be included and the manufacturers will get type approval for Europe and supply the same cars to the UK. Road safety bodies such as the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) are keen to see the whole package implemented in UK legislation – the point is that the combination of measures included amplify the benefits of each measure individually. They say that selecting only some of the measures will dilute the safety benefits.”

ISA will remain, however, an optional inclusion for motorcycles, rather than mandatory. That means that manufacturers are free to implement ISA on their motorcycles if they choose, but at the moment there is no legislation, either in Europe or Britain, that says motorcycles must be fitted with ISA. 

However, it feels somewhat inevitable that such technology will eventually become mandatory on bikes, especially as small capacity and electric bikes and scooters become more widely used in cities for convenience.