In the next step toward becoming a utopian Brave New World at the hands of suffocating and dehumanizing regulation, all new cars sold in the UK and Europe will soon be fitted with speed-limiting devices, which will automatically stop drivers from exceeding the speed limit, according to the Guardian.
The concept is part of sweeping safety changes being implemented to vehicle safety rules that the EU has provisionally agreed to. Despite the fact that Britain may not be part of the EU when the rules take effect - they're slated to be fully rolled out by 2022 - UK regulators have said they will mirror the safety standards across the Channel. The rules still need to be ratified by the European parliament, which could happen by September.
In addition to speed limiters, other features to be made mandatory in 2022 include automated emergency braking, electronic data recorders and improved visibility. The move is being described as "one of the biggest leaps forward in 50 years" for auto safety and it is estimated that it could save 25,000 lives by 2037.
The speed limiter device, called intelligent speed assistance (ISA), uses GPS and sign recognition to detect speed limits, and will sound a warning and automatically slow a vehicle down if it is exceeding the limit. Drivers will be able to "override" the device by pressing hard on the accelerator, the article says although that act may also quietly notify any nearby police. Some motorist groups have argued that speeding up can sometimes actually be the safer option, such as when a person needs to swiftly pass a vehicle ahead of it.
Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the European Transport Safety Council, told the Guardian: "There have only been a handful of moments in the last 50 years which could be described as big leaps forward for road safety in Europe. The mandatory introduction of the seatbelt was one, and the first EU minimum crash safety standards, agreed in 1998, was another. If last night’s agreement is given the formal green light, it will represent another of those moments, preventing 25,000 deaths within 15 years of coming into force."
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for road safety charity Brake, said: “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 government must commit to adopting these lifesaving regulations, no matter what happens with Brexit.”
We also recently reported that Volvo was implementing new safety systems that would allow their vehicle to determine if a driver was impaired or distracted and then, in the case of a drunk driver, intervene on various levels and also "call the authorities".
We're sure that, especially for automobile aficionados, these limiters and new automated safety systems will bring the joy right back to driving.