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Automatic speed limiters move a step closer

Police chases to be a thing of the past?
Police chases to be a thing of the past?

A government advisory panel has suggested that automatic speed limiting devices should be fitted to cars in order to cut injuries by road accidents by nearly a third.

The Commission for Integrated Transport and the Motorists' Forum believe that the not only would they see a 29 per cent reduction in injuries but that carbon emissions would be reduced should the devices be fitted.

The groups insist that the devices should be fitted on a voluntary basis.


John Lewis, who chaired the panel, said: "You can override the device that we're talking about, either by pressing a button on the steering wheel or by kicking down the accelerator as you would on an automatic car.

"But we conducted trials with 20 cars and 80 different drivers over an extended period, and actually the drivers found they changed their habits and changed their behaviour and might not have taken the risk of overtaking," he told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme.

When TechRadar covered the 'successful trials' of speed limiters back in September we were told by Ian Dickson from MSN Cars: "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."

Wider appearance

But it appears that the devices, which would use GPS chips and a database of speed limits on any given road, may soon be making a wider appearance.

And should the voluntary devices prove to be successful, TechRadar is projecting that drivers will either face a mandatory government ruling or the prospect of higher insurance costs to drive without a limiter.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. He is 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 has been and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.