Drivers face changes as 'mandatory' speed limiters are installed from July

From summer 2024, many new vehicles will have to have speed limiters installed
From summer 2024, many new vehicles will have to have speed limiters installed -Credit:National Highways

From July, drivers could be required to have 'mandatory' speed limiters in their vehicles as new driving laws come into effect. The changes, set to roll out from July 6, will see cars equipped with intelligent speed assistance (ISA) systems that can automatically reduce a vehicle's speed if it exceeds the speed limit.

This safety feature will become compulsory for newly manufactured vehicles from July 6, and all new cars will need to have it fitted. Under new rules set by the European Union and Northern Ireland, even cars sold in the UK must have ISA installed, irrespective of where the car is built.

Dr David Hynd, chief scientist at Transport Research Laboratory, shared his positive view on the system: "It stops me getting speeding fines. It saves me money on my fuel bill, which is always very welcome. But, best of all, it provides an extra set of eyes, which I find particularly helpful when I'm navigating new places, or the roads are busy.

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"ISA gives me head space and that makes me a better driver. On a motorway, I use ISA in conjunction with cruise control, and have been pleasantly surprised by how much less tired I am after a long journey when using this system."

Graham Conway, managing director at Select Car Leasing, said that while the legislation might seem like an innocent change to the car's set-up, it could have "serious implications".

He warned that tampering with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems such as ISA could lead to voiding a car's warranty, as manufacturers may not look kindly on motorists bypassing such technology. Driving too fast is, after all, a major cause of serious collisions, reports Birmingham Live.

The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has previously estimated that new ISA technology could cut accidents by around 30 per cent. Mike Hawes, the chief of Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), stated: "Some manufacturers have already been offering these technologies to consumers ahead of any regulations, including Intelligent Speed Assistance, and will continue to do so across the UK.

"With the heavily integrated nature of the UK and European automotive sectors, regulatory divergence is not advantageous for either party."

The Department for Transport has commented that it keeps policies under review to help reduce casualties. It has commissioned research to explore the benefits and implications of these technologies in Great Britain and will provide updates in due course.

They further stated that any decision to mandate some or all these new technologies would require consultation and legislation to amend the GB-type approval scheme.