I drove a car with a new mandatory speed limiter and some motorists didn't appreciate it at all

Queue of traffic
-Credit: (Image: WalesOnline/Rob Browne)


From July 7 next month, all cars sold in UK dealerships are set to be retrofitted with 'mandatory' speed limiters. It's a result of a shake-up of rules by the European Union (EU).

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. Despite the UK not adopting 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. For the latest analysis of the biggest stories, sign up to the Wales Matters newsletter here

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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, reports Birmingham Live.

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.

The decision to incorporate ISA into UK-bound vehicles has elicited varying reactions from car owners. A number of drivers view it as a positive safety measure, while others argue it might deny them the necessary horsepower to "get out of nasty accidents".

A segment of drivers viewed it as an unnecessary intrusion by authorities on drivers' freedoms. Even though ISA can actually limit a vehicle's speed, it is asserted that UK-destined cars will have a 'softer version', which I personally think is the appropriate strategy.

In my opinion, implementing some kind of required ISA is beneficial, but not to the degree that it infringes upon a driver's freedom. Having first-hand experience with a compulsory speed limiter on the highway, I understand the rationale behind it. When I took such a vehicle for a drive, a small group of motorists didn't appreciate it. On two occasions, irritated drivers neared my rear bumper as I strictly adhered to the speed limit.

With a dashboard reminder or even increased resistance on the driver's accelerator. it could prompt motorists to reconsider breaking the speed limit. During rush hour, ISA could potentially alleviate congestion by discouraging drivers from speeding and tailgating.