Limiting Dangerous Driving – Will it work?

Whether thinking of the driving test or for motorists in general, The recent announcement that EU rules for fitting speed limiters to new cars from 2022 will be adopted by the UK was welcomed by many, including the European Transport Safety Council, as a move that will save lives. However, not everyone is convinced by this “guardian angel” technology.

The AA pointed out that there are times, when overtaking for example, when temporarily exceeding the speed limit may be safer. Others have said that proposed “black boxes” that would record a vehicle’s speed, among other things, amount to big brother surveillance. So is this surveillance and intrusion justified given the potential benefits?

Speed assistance technology uses a global positioning system (GPS) to establish a car’s location and then sends it a message about the road’s speed limit. Cars can also be fitted with a camera to identify speed limit signs by the road. The car – rather than the driver – would use these two inputs to keep below the speed limit. The technology the EU proposes would allow drivers discretion, however, so a driver would have the option to override the reduction in speed by pushing the accelerator.

The Main Problem

The only problem, with trying to limit the speed on cars, is that the GPS, the global positioning system, (the satellite tracking you) needs to be accurate. As a driving school, we have 2 Toyota’s that automatically show the speed limit on the dashboard.

The amount of times these are wrong – is scary – when you factor in the point that, shortly your car wont be able to go any faster. For instance getting on the M54 at one particular junction the GPS on the dashboard, says 40 mph! When it clearly is not – and never has been.

Now imagine trying to join the motorway and not being able to go any faster than 40! Imagine you are just joining the motorway and as you go to overtake the vehicle in front, the 40 mph limit kicks into the car. If there’s a lorry coming up behind you, with no brake lights appearing, he will just slam into the back of you.

Then you have the issue of older cars – these will NOT be fitted with speed limiting technology, how many times have you been doing 30 mph on a 30 road and someone comes screaming up behind you, then impatiently overtakes as they think its a 40 or 50?