London cars to be fitted with speed limitersAutomatic systems can monitor drivers' behaviour

11 May 2009

Speed limiters could save drivers from fines

Speed limiters could save drivers from fines

A new, six-month trial will see vehicles in London fitted with automatic speed limiters.

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The devices, which also monitor journey times and drivers' behaviour, will be fitted to 20 cars as well as a London bus and a taxi, Transport for London (TfL) said.

It’s hoped the Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) technology will stop drivers breaking speed limits and help to save lives.

Automatic speed limiters

Drivers taking part in the trial will be able to select an option that stops their car from accelerating as soon as it reaches the speed limit of the road they are travelling on. But TfL said the systems, which have been designed for use anywhere within the M25 area, can be disabled at the touch of a button.

Chris Lines, head of TfL's London road safety unit, said: ‘This innovative technology could help any driver in London avoid the unnecessary penalties of creeping over the speed limit, and at the same time will save lives. ISA is intended as a road safety device, but if Londoners embrace this technology we may well see additional benefits including reduced congestion as a result of collisions and reduced vehicle emissions as drivers adopt a smoother driving style.’

But Claire Armstrong, co-founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign, described ISA as a 'fatally flawed technology'. She said: 'Safe driving depends on drivers being fully engaged, adjusting their speed to the immediate conditions. With ISA, ordinary motorists will turn into zombies with their foot planted to the floor, trusting the satellite to control their speed.'

Andrew Howard, head of road safety at the AA, added: ‘Drivers are divided in their views of intelligent speed adaptation - some hate it, some want it. Many have questions that will be answered only by trials like those being carried out by TfL.’

Dealing with speeding tickets

If you think you've been unfairly issued with a speeding fine, read the Which? guide to dealing with speeding tickets. It contains information on your legal rights, step-by-step advice on challenging a speeding ticket in court and sample letters that you can send to the authorities. 

Some of the best sat navs we've reviewed come with a function that alerts you to the presence of speed cameras, which are often sited at accident black spots.


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