• Dec 30, 2008
More government regulation to protect people from themselves...whee! The UK's camera-infested roads haven't been the most blissful place for driving enthusiasts in the last few years, and now there's a push to fit speed limiters to cars.
Proposed by the exhaustively-named Commission for Integrated Transport and the Motorists' Forum, the limiter concept is being touted as a way to cut emissions and save lives. The idea is that the technology would integrate with a vehicle's systems to slow the car down - including intervening by automatically applying the brakes to bring a vehicle down to the speed limit. Satellites will be used to determine where a vehicle is, and drivers are reported to appreciate having the burden of actually paying attention lifted from their shoulders. Hmmm.

Given how many local governments rely on speed camera revenue, we're not altogether sure what kind of legs this plan has, but consider us concerned all the same.

[Source: BBC]


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  • 37 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      There is a much simpler and cheaper system used in Singapore to regulate the top speed of commerical vehicles.
      Commewrcial vehicles are fitted with a light on top of the cab which lights up it's display when the driver exceeds a '"afe" speed limit.
      Police can then quickly focus their attention on speeders.... Of course playing about with that system is possible, but brings more penalties.

      The UK Labor Gvt really loves to play the "Big Brother" role on its citizens already so it's not unexpected that they would consider such potentially dangerous measures and not realise how silly and wasteful(money) they are being.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As with all things government, the system will be so out of date and the "security" so porous that by the time it reaches motorists, 8yo kids will be able to hack it, and cause havoc to boot!

      Unintended acceleration anyone?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Here's my thought for "Commission for Integrated Transport and the Motorists' Forum": Go eff yourselves.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Awesome!
      • 6 Years Ago
      If this is actually enacted, and the gov't here in the States passes it as well, I for one will never buy a new car again. If I want to do a few MPH over the limit (when it's safe), I'll do it. I don't want some computer telling me to slow down.

      In the same vein, what if I'm passing a semi on a two lane road, and I legitimately NEED to go 5 or 10 over to get past him?
      • 6 Years Ago

      Would love to hear Clarkson's views about this.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've got a feeling this'll create more traffic woes.


      I'm not a Nobel prize winner, but isn't a head-on at 30 m.p.h. much worse than a rear-end collision at the same speed?
      • 6 Years Ago
      What you need is a picture of big brother, not HAL. But it could be argued that since UK provides health care to their citizens, it makes government regulations for better health necessary. Keeping people from driving too fast will help keep accident victims out of hospital. I would not agree with this policy in the US until the government starts paying for my health care.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Alex:
        I hate low speed limits as much as the next person (especially since on the roads where 90% of drivers are going 15-20 over), but in a modern car it's much easier to kill yourself and your passengers at 80 than 30. You'd basically have to drive off a cliff or get t-boned by a semi at 30 to kill yourself.
        You might get hurt, but as car safety has gotten better you're now much more likely to survive most low and moderate speed impacts, while it's still pretty easy to kill yourself if you crash going 80 or 90.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Alex1217

        Actually there have been recent studies that say otherwise. While these studies attribute the recent decline in traffic fatalities to several factors (improved safety, reduced travel due to high fuel costs, etc.) the studies also suggest that due to high fuel prices people are driving slower to achieve better fuel economy, and that this does have some impact on the reduced number of fatalities on US roads this year. i for one oppose any idea of forcibly limiting speed, i think even the limiters that manufacturers put on their cars to limit speed to 155mph is absurd. however, its impossible to deny that the speed at which you drive has a direct impact on how likely you are to be in an accident. by the way, heres one article from august:

        http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2008-08-25-gas_N.htm
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's probably worth pointing out that since the only way the US Government could pay for your health care is by taxing you to pay for it, the phrase " I would not agree with this policy in the US until the government starts paying for my health care" is exactly equivalent to the phrase "I would never agree with this policy."
        • 6 Years Ago
        There's never been any proof that driving at higher speeds causes accidents. You can kill yourself and a bunch of other people doing 30 mph just as you would doing 80 mph. Who do you think is gonna pay for such a system?? The taxpayers and at an insanely inflated price to please the lobbyist who will work out a deal to get such a system in place.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Speed doesn't kill, difference in speed does. That's why the Autobahn is safe, but the moron driving Autobahn speeds when traffic is doing 70 is not.

        On the highway drive right, pass left. It should be a law in the US too.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well johncuyle, if it is my comment to which you are referring go back and read it again. That is not what I said. But no matter how it is paid for, opting for government funded healthcare means that the government becomes the custodian of your health. You may have to just grin and bear whatever else they set as policy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I doubt such legislation would actually pass.
      • 6 Years Ago
      On a modern 6-8 lane highway you can safely drive at 85mph with no problems at all in the left lane. Problems only arise when you are driving 20mph faster than the flow of regular traffic. In fact the average speed on the highway is usually 70-75mph. Even during heavy traffic in Cleveland.

      The only time traffic slows is when there is construction or a cop. Construction and the police cause far more accidents than driving 10-15 mph over the speed limit. The police also add to the congestion problem.

      The national highway speed limit should be 75mph. Most modern cars are in a good RPM range at that speed and gas mileage on many cars is just as good at 75 as 60. My car in fact gets better gas mileage at 75 than 65. Another benefit of a 75mph speed limit would be that most cars could react faster to problems ahead. At 60mph many cars have to drop a gear in order to accelerate since they are crusing around 2500 rpm and have very little torque and hp to aid the driver. I wonder how many accidents could have been avoided if the drivers car could have accelerated a little faster.

      Nomatter what limiting a cars speed is a disater waiting to happen. Speed doesn't kill, poor driving skill does.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hate big government.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Legislation like this doesn't just come into effect because the Government feels like pissing of the motoring world, especially considering they may lose money to traffic tickets. But the fact is this is happening because of all the idiot drivers out there that say 'screw you, I'll buy old cars and drive as fast as I want', endangering the rest of the public that generally wants to go about motoring in a respectable approach. I like to drive fast, and enjoy that freedom, but it isn't a right. Neither is driving...it's a priviledge, and most people have forgotten that.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually, it is a right, and restricted and regulated by government.

        As long as you play by the rules, the government has no authority to prevent you from driving. They just set the rules tighter and tighter and tighter, because they can.

        Then they get you to thank them for granting you the "priviledge".

        Government works on granted authority by the governed, not inherent authority. Although that might be different in a monarchy. Somehow I don't think even the queen, or the government want to completely tell people that they can't move around and get to where they need to go. Transit is also an enabling device of economic activity.

        People have rights. Government has authority, not rights, since it is an organization, not a person.
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