What it's like driving a car with a 'retrofitted' speed limiter

-Credit: (Image: Malcolm Hart)
-Credit: (Image: Malcolm Hart)


As part of a shake-up of rules all cars sold in UK dealerships will be retrofitted with 'mandatory' speed limiters. The move will come in from July 7 with different types available.

BirminghamLive reports how the EU has introduced new ISA regulations under its General Safety Rule (GSR) - which sets out the minimum safety standards required on vehicles and trailers. Although the UK hasn't adopted the EU's GSR, manufacturers based in Europe aren't removing ISA technology from UK-bound cars, meaning British drivers will be affected by the changes.

Motor vehicles can be retrofitted with three types of ISA: informative/advisory, supportive/warning and intervening/mandatory. Each one varies in the effect and power it has on the vehicle and driver.

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The least forceful one is informative/advisory ISA which simply flashes a warning sign on the dashboard or makes an audible gong. Then there's supportive/warning ISA which increases the upward pressure on the accelerator - but this can be overridden by holding down the pedal.

The most forceful one is intervening/mandatory ISA, which limits the fuel injection inside the vehicle to stop a driver from speeding. ISA also works alongside GPS and traffic sign data, allowing it to know when to kick in.

News of the implementation of ISA in UK-bound cars has generated a mixed response from drivers. Some believe it is a good idea from a safety perspective. However, others feel it would deprive motorists of having the necessary horsepower to "get out of nasty accidents". And some felt it was an attempt by the powers that be to interfere with the liberties of drivers.

Jamie Brassington, of BirminghamLive, has been out with a speed limiter. He said: "While ISA has the ability to physically restrict a car's speed, it's been reported that UK-bound cars will get a 'softer version' - which I feel is the correct approach.

"I believe some form of mandatory ISA is a good thing but not to the extent where it will impedes a driver's freewill. Having tested out a mandatory speed limiter on the road, I can see why it is needed.

"When I went out, a handful of drivers took exception to this. On two occasions, motorists came close to my rear bumper out of impatience as I strictly stuck to the speed limit.

"With a warning on the dashboard or even upward pressure on the driver's accelerator, it could make motorists think twice. And it times of rush hour, ISA could reduce congestion by discouraging motorists from speeding and driving bumper to bumper."

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