EU compulsory car device would not limit speed

System which would create awareness for drivers has yet to be approved by other EU institutions

EU plans for mandatory devices in cars to alert drivers when they break the speed limit will not forcibly limit the speed of the vehicle, it has emerged.

The proposals for “intelligent speed assistance” and “emergency braking” were among almost 30 safety features which may, if approved by member states, the parliament and the commission, be introduced incrementally from 2022.

The intelligent speed assistance feature is already installed in many newer cars. It alerts the driver the fact that the the speed limit for the road has been exceeded.

According to the proposal from the European Parliament’s Transport Committee, which was discussed at European Parliament on Monday night intelligent speed assistance’ means a system “to assist the driver in observing the appropriate speed for the road”.


Parliament’s rapporteur on the proposal Róza Thun (EPP, PL) said: “ISA will provide a driver with feedback, based on maps and road sign observation, always when speed limit is exceeded. This will not only make all of us safer, but also help drivers to avoid speeding tickets”.

While EU sources said it is clear the proposal is for a device to raise “awareness” it was widely reported across Britain and Ireland on Wednesday as involving a device to limit the speed of cars.

Under amendments tabled at the transport committee it will also be possible for drivers to turn off the alert.

In addition to there being no device which will automatically limit the speed of cars, and no rule banning the turning off of the advisory device, the European Parliament has confirmed the proposal has yet to be approved by other EU institutions.

A spokesman for the EU Parliament office in Dublin said: The provisional agreement still needs to be confirmed by member states’ ambassadors (Coreper) and, on 2 April, by the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. It will then be put to the full Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers for final approval.”

AA communications director Conor Faughnan said it appeared reports of devices compulsorily limiting the speed of the vehicle were overstated, when what was planned was an advisory “bleep”.

But he said the move was one of a number of “technology implants” in recent years which were all designed to make driving safer.

While this was laudable he said any system that warns drivers of speed limits would only be as good as the database on which it works.

He said the AA had engaged in a speed limit review in 2013 which had made recommendations on a process for peer-reviewed changes to inappropriate speed limits, but this had never been adopted.

He gave an instance of “an eight lane highway” on the M4 leaving Dublin for Sligo, where the speed limit was 80km/hr. But more then 100 kilometres along the road in Co Roscommon where the route was a “narrow road lined with white crosses in the ditches” the speed limit was 100km/hr. He said such anomalies brought the system into disrepute with car drivers and such issues would have to be addressed before a driver alert system could be credible in Ireland.