DfT considering implementing EU road safety regulations
Technology such as Intelligent Speed Assist could be coming to the UK
The Department for Transport (DfT) has said it is considering new vehicle technologies.
New EU legislation regarding ISA is scheduled to apply to new vehicle types in the EU from July 2022. All new registrations from 2024 will have to comply to the regulations. These include the introduction of Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA). The UK was part of the EU negotiations for the legislation prior to Brexit, however since leaving the EU, such legislation has no force in the UK.
Keeping up with the EU
In the EU, a speed warning system will be compulsory in all new cars, vans, goods vehicles, buses, and electric vehicles (EVs). Motorcycles and mopeds will remain exempt from this.
ISA intends to encourage drivers to observe the speed limit. The system does not limit speed and can also be deactivated by the driver. However, the alarm will reactivate each time the vehicle is restarted.
There are currently no mandates on speed warning systems such as ISA on new vehicles in Great Britain. However, many vehicles are fitted with this technology to earn higher ratings on the EuroNCAP (European New Car Assessment Protocol). The NCAP results are considered to have a large impact on the sales potential of new models. Therefore, it is likely that new vehicles produced and sold in the UK will have the technology fitted.
The EU decided, along with the UK who were members at the time, that the inclusion of technology such as ISA would have a significant impact on improving road safety.
Call for action
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is being urged to adopt EU vehicle safety measures that are due to come into effect in July.
A group of former Transport Ministers say the UK now needs adopt the regulations to avoid putting the safety of its road users at risk.
David Davies, executive director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), which advises the Government, said: “There has been little progress in reducing road deaths and injuries over the past decade (apart from during the 2020 lockdown). Here is a package of measures that would kick start a new chapter. It comes at almost no cost to government or the motorist. We support the call from former transport ministers for the government to at least match the standards that will apply in Northern Ireland. It could demonstrate the UK’s new independence by going further and faster.”
Safer EU roads
The package introduces 15 integrated measures. These include better direct vision in HGVs, automated emergency braking that detects pedestrians and cyclists, and ISA.
The DfT has stated that new road technologies are currently under consideration. This includes the EU plans, and whether systems such as ISA should be compulsory in new vehicles sold in the UK. They are also looking at which vehicle’ categories they should apply to once/if a new ‘GB type approval scheme’ is in place.
The DfT mentioned that this would be ready by mid-2022.