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Brussels, brakes and stupidity

2013-09-04 12:26

FUTURE CAR TECH: Drivers in the UK might have to fit their cars with brake-slamming technology when going over the speed limit if a new law should be passed in Brussels..Image: Ford

  Video

An elderly driver and his female passenger walked away unhurt after launching their car onto a neighbour's garage roof. The driver claims, his "brakes failed and he lost control of the vehicle". VIDEO!

Eurocrats in Brussels want all cars to be fitted with a device that slams on brakes if the posted speed limit is exceeded. Britain is saying 'No way!' So, are the battle lines drawn?

LONDON, England - Cars and other vehicles should be fitted with a device that slams on the brakes if the posted speed limit is exceeded - but, really, just how saafe would that be?

Every new cars would have to have a camera to read speed limit signs, according to a report in the London Daily Mail but that’s not all. Even existing vehicles would have to be retro-fitted with the ‘Big Brother’ tech to prevent all vehicles in the UK exceeding that country's 70mph (112km/h) speed limit - even on motorways.

DANGEROUS TECHNOLOGY


A British Automobile Association spokesman said the tech could even be dangerous. "If you were overtaking a truck and suddenly needed to accelerate to avoid a head-on collision you would not be able to do so." He was, however, in favour of an audible speeding alert.

The Daily Mail said British transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin "erupted" when the proposals hit his desk and he's told his staff to tell the Euro-types to get lost. He's been asked by the European Commission for his views ahead of the publication of formal proposals in the next few months.
 
The Europoean Community’s mobility and transport department, the Mail adds, hopes to roll out ‘Intelligent Speed Adaptation’ technology as part of a  road-safety programme intended to reduce the road-death toll by a third by 2020. The latest annual figures for the UK, Germany and France respectively are 1754, 3657 and 3645. South Africa, with about the same population as the UK, sees (not the official figure, which is around 14 000) 20 000 dead a year.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

ISA technology works in one of two ways – through satellites which communicate limits automatically to vehicles or by an in-car camera reading road regulation signs. Should the vehicle be travelling too fast one of three controls will be invoked:

ADVICE: The driver will be warned of the speed limit by an alarm and given time to slow down.
DRIVER SELECT: Slows the car but allows the driver to disable the system.
MANDATORY: No speeding under any circumstances. 

McLoughlin was told by officials that new vehicles would soon be designed with camera and satellite technology automatically incorporated, making it "cheap and easy" to add speed-control systems. Indeed, many upmarket models already have a camera or speed-informed satnav, or both.

A government source, the Daily Mail reported, had said McLouglin told his officials to block the moves because "they're a violation of British drivers’ freedom".

The source said: “This has Big Brother written all over it and is exactly the sort of thing that gets people’s backs up about Brussels (EU's HQ). We're about getting a better deal for Britain, not letting EU bureaucrats encroach further into people’s lives.

“The commission wanted his views ahead of plans to publish the proposals by October 2013. He made it very clear what those views were.”

SAFETY REPORTS

An EC spokesperson said: “It's part of the commission’s job - mandated by member states - to promote research into and consult stakeholders about new road-safety technology that might save lives. This is done in close co-operation with member states and the UK has generally supported such efforts.

"There is consultation focusing on speed-limiting technology already fitted to heavy goods vehicles and buses. Taking account of the results, the commission will publish a document by its technical experts by October 2013 which will no doubt refer to ISA, among many other things."

Good idea? Bad idea? Check the poll on our home page or Email us with your views and get published!
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