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Speed limiters for new cars in UK by 2022 under EU rules

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 27/03/2019 Jessica Sansome
a close up of a sign: File photo dated 05/06/07 of a speed limit sign in south London. A 20mph speed limit will be introduced on every Transport for London-managed road in central London by 2020 under new road safety plans. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday July 24, 2018. See PA story TRANSPORT Roads. Photo credit should read: Stephen Kelly/PA Wire © Stephen Kelly/PA Wire File photo dated 05/06/07 of a speed limit sign in south London. A 20mph speed limit will be introduced on every Transport for London-managed road in central London by 2020 under new road safety plans. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday July 24, 2018. See PA story TRANSPORT Roads. Photo credit should read: Stephen Kelly/PA Wire

Speeding tickets may be a thing of the past as all new cars are to have a speed cap by 2022 under new EU rules.

They will be fitted with special devices that automatically make them keep to the speed limit as the mandatory technology will monitor road signs and stop motorists breaking the top speed.

The new safety measures, which include intelligent speed assistance (ISA), advanced emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance, have been given approval by the European Commission and will be adopted by the UK, despite the continuing Brexit debate.

The commission expects the plans could help save more than 25,000 lives and avoid at least 140,000 serious injuries by 2038.

Drink-driving will also be addressed by the new measures as well as driver anti-drowsiness alarms to wake drivers who are at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel, and distraction technology to detract motorists from using a smartphone while driving.

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The plans also include making it easier to retrofit an alcohol interlock device - a technological solution for tackling repeat drink-driving in use in a number of EU member states.

EU Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said: "Every year, 25,000 people lose their lives on our roads. The vast majority of these accidents are caused by human error.

"We can and must act to change this. With the new advanced safety features that will become mandatory, we can have the same kind of impact as when safety belts were first introduced.

"Many of the new features already exist, in particular in high-end vehicles. Now we raise the safety level across the board, and pave the way for connected and automated mobility of the future."

Road safety charities are backing the new rules describing it as a "landmark day for road safety".

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: "These measures will provide the biggest leap forward for road safety this century, perhaps even since the introduction of the seatbelt.

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"These lifesaving measures come at a vital time, with road safety in a concerning period of stagnation with more than 70 people still being killed or seriously injured on British roads every day."

The rules still need to be formally approved by the European Parliament and Council before being worked into domestic law by all the member states.

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