Commenting on the EU's aims for the revised General Safety Regulation for vehicles, due to come into force as of 2022 and including Intelligent Speed Assistance, RAC road safety spokesperson Pete Williams said:
“Improving road safety is vital as too many lives are lost or ruined every year as a result of accidents on our roads.
“As we progress on the journey to self-driving cars it is important to take advantage of all the associated technological developments to take safety to the next level, particularly as road casualty statistics appear to have stopped falling in recent years.
“Limiting speed may initially sound somewhat Big Brother-like, but as it stands the intention is for the technology to be overridable in certain situations – for example by pressing hard on the accelerator to complete an over-taking manoeuvre. In addition, vehicles will not brake automatically when going from a faster to a slower speed limit, meaning it will still be down to the driver to brake appropriately.
“But as the limiters can be overridden it naturally begs the question whether some drivers will do this regularly to bypass the system, potentially undermining some of the system’s benefits.
“But just because a vehicle’s speed is limited doesn’t mean that drivers can accelerate as fast as they like up to the limit they are in. We should always drive at the right speed for the conditions, whether that’s due to traffic, bad weather or other hazards.
“While there is much talk in these proposals about speed limiters, the greatest benefit may well be in technology that can prevent distractions and improve drivers' concentration as this could massively improve road safety.”