'Big brother' speed limiting devices that set off alarms 'could be fitted to all new cars'

16 April 2022, 10:10 | Updated: 16 April 2022, 10:28

Cars could be fitted with speed limiting devices to stop drivers from speeding, it has been reported.
Cars could be fitted with speed limiting devices to stop drivers from speeding, it has been reported. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Speed limiting devices that reduce the power of engines or sound an alarm if drivers go over the speed limit could be fitted to all new cars under plans to fall in line with controversial EU ruling, it's been reported.

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The speed limiting devices, which would be mandatory in all new vehicles, are the latest sign of a growing crackdown on speeding in the UK, with police forces increasingly enforcing 60mph speed limits on long stretches of new smart motorways.

It's understood ministers will announce plans for a consultation on vehicle safety measures to help stop people speeding, the Telegraph reports.

The reported plans are being backed by environmental groups as it would reduce pollution by cars.

However, critics have hit out at the “big brother” idea which would mean greater control on people’s lives.

Tory MPs suggested the “Big Brother in your cockpit” proposals were further evidence of an “anti-driver campaign”.

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'I absolutely hate it. Get out of my life!'

Craig Mackinlay, the Conservative chairman of the Fair Fuel UK Motorists and Hauliers all-party parliamentary group, reportedly said: “This will completely destroy the luxury car market, and I think there are so many aspects of the anti-driver campaign now that are coming to the fore.

“This is just more Big Brother in your cockpit. We’ll see more of this if we go up the route of road pricing. I don’t think people have thought of the freedom aspects of all of this. It just sounds very unconservative.”

A provisional agreement has been reached to make speed limiters mandatory for all new cars sold in Europe from July 6 2022. Even though the UK left the EU in 2020, it still follows the same regulations for new cars.

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The UK’s Vehicle Certification Agency has previously said it intends to mirror EU rules on vehicle safety standards after Brexit.

Edmund King, the president of the AA, reportedly said: “The speed limits have to be totally accurate because the car is reacting to the speed limit. If you’ve got the wrong speed limit in the digital system, it might slow you to the wrong speed or allow you to speed to the wrong speed.”

Reports suggest that speeding could be detected using GPS devices and cameras on cars but potential problems would include where there are temporary restrictions in place.

Manufacturers can choose from a range of responses, from an alarm system similar to seatbelt alerts to mechanisms that reduce engine power or push back on the pedal when drivers break the speed limit.

Drivers can override the system, but the technology will reactivate every time the car is started.

Some manufacturers, including Citroen, Ford, and Jaguar, have already started including the technology in some of their cars.

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