Will UK drivers get mandatory speed limiters?

GTA IV wouldn't be nearly as fun, for a start
GTA IV wouldn't be nearly as fun, for a start

UK drivers face the prospect of mandatory speed limiters, after a government trial into the technology was apparently a success.

The Department for Transport has confirmed it will now look to work with vehicle manufacturers, local authorities, insurance companies and others to 'consider what steps should be taken to support the future availability of the technology.'

The trial involved Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) – an in-car device which can work in three different ways.

Apply brakes

The first would advise on the current speed limit of the road and warn the driver when they are exceeding that limit, the second is a voluntary system that applies the breaks automatically, but can be overridden, while the final option is a mandatory system that would not allow speeding at all.

The Department for Transport said that implementing the systems in the real world could curtail the number of deaths and injuries on the roads, but insists that nothing will be forced on drivers… yet.

"We are clear that any future use of ISA is taken forward by the motoring industry in response to consumer demand, just as with other technologies available for consumers to purchase if they so choose," said the DfT.

Apparently, those involved in the test felt safer with the ISA, apart from when they were overtaking – when mandatory speed cut-offs could obviously prove fatal.

End of driving for pleasure

Indeed, leading auto journalist Ian Dickson from MSN Cars told TechRadar: "These speed limiters will end the notion of driving for pleasure.

"No longer will we want to go on a Sunday drive or buy a fast car. And the dangers of such a device will soon become clear when you put your foot down to overtake a slower car and find that your car won't accelerate."

More than half of those involved said they would be willing to have ISA installed, but only if its use was voluntary.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.