We have grown accustomed to hearing about severe traffic accidents which destroy lives due to excessive speeding and negligent driving. Recent news reports that work is being done to address this issue which claims a substantial number of lives. New safety regulations are being proposed in Brussels, pushing forward technology installed within cars, which prevents drivers from exceeding a certain speed limit. Please give me a moment whilst I wipe my tears.
This new regulation could be up and running as early as 2022, following a provisional agreement by the European Commission. This proposal still needs to be scrutinised by the European Parliament which could see some of its conditions amended. Certain devices which prevent drivers from exceeding pre-established limits are normally referred to as ‘Intelligent Speed Assistance’ (ISA) use GPS data and sign recognition cameras to process the acceptable speed limits when the car is in motion. When the car is exceeding the appropriate limits, it will make a sound to serve as a warning and automatically slows down the vehicle. To counter this, drivers may push the accelerator harder to maintain their preferred speed. It is argued that in certain situations, speed over the limit is necessary for safety, especially when overtaking another car.
The reason for these enhanced measures is due to the fact that around twenty-five thousand people lose their lives on the road each year. These new measures may have the same benefit as seat-belts had when they were first introduced. It is argued that these safety features proposed for all vehicles can already be found in high-end cars, so it is simply a process of including these for the less luxurious vehicles as well. It is mainly an initiative aimed at ensuring a high level of safety across the whole board.
These new safety measures proposed also take into account the driver’s state, which includes potential drowsiness and distractions. One of such examples of distractions includes smartphone usage whilst driving. Other features which will help to prevent accidents include lane-keeping assistance for cars and vans, accompanied with crash-test improved safety belts. Other specifics are aimed at helping to ameliorate the direct vision of truck and lorry drivers, with embedded systems to warn about approaching cyclists and pedestrians.
These initiatives are part of the European Union’s long-term objective which aims to come extremely close to no road fatalities and serious injuries by 2050.
What are your views on these proposed measures? Can you imagine owning a Porsche with a maximum speed of 80kph? I need a coffee!