The speed of new cars could be limited with a special device as part of new measures to improve road safety, according to a report.
The government is expected to announce a consultation that will focus on speed limiters that will automatically force drivers to stay within the limit by reducing engine power or setting off alarms, reports the Telegraph.
Ministers are looking at Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA) technology as it is one of 15 safety measures set to become mandatory in the European Union from July.
The measures could help save more than 25,000 lives and prevent at least 140,000 serious injuries by 2038, according to safety experts.
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But not everyone agrees with speed-limiting devices, with Tory MP Craig Mackinlay comparing it to “Big Brother”.
Mackinlay, the Conservative chairman of the Fair Fuel UK Motorists and Hauliers cross-party parliamentary group, told the Telegraph: ‘It’s going to completely destroy the luxury car market, and I think there are so many aspects of the anti- driver now who are coming to the fore.
He added: “It’s more Big Brother in your cockpit. We’ll see that more if we go the road pricing route.
“I don’t think people have thought about the freedom aspects of it all. It just seems very conservative.”
Greg Smith, a Conservative member of the House of Commons transport select committee, added that the new devices would be a “useless nanny”.
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ISA uses in-car road sign recognition cameras and GPS to discourage or prevent speeding.
The system assesses the speed limit and then warns the driver in various ways, including via an alarm, a reduction in engine power or a push of the accelerator pedal.
Ford and Jaguar are among the automakers that have started including the devices in their cars.
The UK Vehicle Certification Agency has previously said the UK will align with EU rules on vehicle standards post-Brexit, saying it aims to ‘continue mutual recognition of certification UK and EU type-approval”.
The Ministry of Transport confirmed that no decision on car safety regulations had been made.
A spokesperson said: “The UK’s departure from the EU provides us with the platform to capitalize on our regulatory freedoms.”
“We are currently reviewing the vehicle safety provisions included in the EU General Safety Regulation and will implement requirements tailored to Britain and improve road safety.”
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A package of 15 measures becomes mandatory in the European Union and Northern Ireland from July but will not automatically apply in Britain due to Brexit.
Changes include advanced emergency braking that detects pedestrians and cyclists, intelligent speed assistance and systems to help drivers back up safely.
The Parliamentary Transport Safety Advisory Council (Pacts), which advises the government, has warned that failure to introduce the 15 measures for new vehicles across the UK will “put the safety of road users at risk. British road”.
The number of people killed each year on Britain’s roads has remained stable between 2010 and 2019, after three decades of decline.
A drop in the number of deaths in 2020 has been attributed to coronavirus lockdowns.