EU confirms all new cars will be fitted with breathalysers from 2022
All new cars sold in the EU will be fitted with breathalysers from 2022 onwards after Brussels passed a new road safety law.
The new rules mean several safety features will now be mandatory on every new car sold within the EU, including speed limiters and breathalysers.
It is unclear whether the legislation will apply to Britain - but it seems likely that if a Brexit deal passes the UK will be closely aligned to EU rules on road safety.
The scheme was given provisional approval by the European Commission back in March this year.
It has now received final approval after politicians voted on it earlier this week.
Timo Harakka, of the European Council, said: “These new rules will help us to reduce significantly the number of fatalities and severe injuries.”
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The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has previously said that approval of the measures could cut collisions by 30 per cent and save 25,000 lives across Europe in the next 15 years.
Edmund King, president at AA, told The Mirror that drivers shouldn’t rely solely on the technology while on the roads.
He said: “Drivers sticking religiously to the speed limit still face the threat of smartphone zombies and other unwary road users stepping out in front of them or drunk or distracted drivers crashing into them.
“Technology will play a part but drivers should not rely solely on computers and cameras to drive their cars for them. Until fully autonomous vehicles are on the roads, drivers must keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.”
Details of how the breathalyser systems will work are yet to be revealed but it is thought they will be aimed at tackling repeat offenders.
Intelligent speed assistance is already fitted to many modern cars and uses traffic sign recognition and/or GPS location data to determine local speed limits.
It then limits engine power to prevent the car accelerating above that limit.