If George Orwell were alive today and had read this story from The Daily Telegraph, he'd be standing in the middle of the Rue de la Loi, shouting "I told you so!" at the top of his lungs. In a bid to decrease the 30,000 deaths on European roads each year, the European Commission is seeking to require speed-limiting devices on all vehicles.

It's unclear how the commission would go about this, although according to The Daily Telegraph. The leading candidates involve vehicle-mounted cameras that read speed-limit signs, or satellites beaming speed information into cars so that motorists can be warned whenever they are at risk of exceeding the limit. Another, more invasive scenario could actually see a vehicle's brakes applied any time the driver exceeds the maximum allowable speed, in this case, 70 mph. This proposed legislation isn't sitting well with the United Kingdom, though.

Britain's Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, has flatly opposed the notion, telling the paper, "This has Big Brother written all over it." Besides infringing on the freedom of drivers, the Ministry of Transport also argues that the UK's road safety record – only 1,754 people dying on the island nation's roads in 2012 – proves that Britain can get by without the the mandate.

Us? We don't see this attempt getting very far. Aside from the inevitable invasion of privacy concerns, there's a big financial one, as well – most countries, states and municipalities in Europe have some level of dependency on revenue collection from speed violations, be they administered automatically via speed camera or the good old fashioned way, by getting pulled over.

What do you think of all this? Have your say in Comments.

UPDATE: The EU has issued a rather scathing formal statement denying this report, saying it is "quite simply not true." Read the full statement here at the official EU blog.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 92 Comments
      rcavaretti
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just a case of a politician thinking out loud and those thoughts being picked up as a sensationalist news story. It-will-never-happen.
      lasertekk
      • 1 Year Ago
      Don't bother. This story is a scam.
      Actionable Mango
      • 1 Year Ago
      1) The EU isn't really considering this. 2) Despite having the autobahn, Germany's highway fatality rate is similar to or superior than its European neighbors with national speed limits.
        FuelToTheFire
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        Wow, you are gullible. You are still statistically 3x more likely to die on a German autobahn than on a US highway. Americans always have, and will always be, better drivers than Europeans.
          RGT881
          • 1 Year Ago
          @FuelToTheFire
          Europeans or Germans?
          benjamin_braddock
          • 1 Year Ago
          @FuelToTheFire
          There is a huge difference in statistics between individual European countries. Maybe you should take your head out of the sand to look at them?
          Actionable Mango
          • 1 Year Ago
          @FuelToTheFire
          So the US is a "European neighbor" of Germany? (Perhaps you should read my post again.)
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        Also, I just checked your own claim and you are completely wrong. Germans are half as likely to die on the freeway as Americans. Road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year: Germany 6.7 USA 12.3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate
      mycommentemail
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is just more click bait from auto blog. Some nut in some basement somewhere in Europe makes some statement to the effect of: "Hi. I have no authority on anything and am not an official spokesperson for any government, but I'm going to propose that we automatically govern the speed of all cars". Autoblog picks it up as a rumor and reports it as: "Governments want to limit your freedom!" Irate abg readers read the article and do no fact checking of their own and start with the "Europe hates our freedoms and wants socialism to kill your babies! " rants. Autoblog prints a small update: "oh... I guess reporting rumor as fact didn't work out as planned this time (or the last time, or the time before that, or...)" when, in fact, it worked perfectly for them -they got us all to read the bogus article and started collecting revenue from advertisers. And I just fed into all of that with this post...
      rmt_1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Which is more troubling? The fact that the story was a hoax or the fact that the hoax about the European Union planning to do something so incredibly stupid sounded plausible enough to be believable? Either way, the quality of journalism and the soundness of EU leadership were both apparently subjects of great suspicion by the public there long before this false story broke and that suspicion will not end anytime soon.
        Puck
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rmt_1
        Nothing's too bizarre if it's from the EU. It starts as a hoax and later, it turns into reality.
      Mat Ford Rayman
      • 1 Year Ago
      This should have caused everyone's bullshit detector to go off the charts.
      knightrider_6
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Russian dash cam videos are not generating enough ad revenue, so Autoblog posted a fake story?
      avconsumer2
      • 1 Year Ago
      The NHTSA called.... they want their idea back.
      Fitycent
      • 1 Year Ago
      Welcome to the death of the automobile as we know it. Take a look at Japan's automotive climate and then realize this is inevitable. Cars are becoming more and more like appliances with no passion. And with the up and coming autonomous car... Maytag and Frigidaire might as well start signing up contract with google right now (if they haven't done it already). That being said, I can't wait for autonomous car.
        benjamin_braddock
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Fitycent
        This story was a lie constructed by a British newspaper as anti-EU propaganda. It just won't happen.
      unfined
      • 1 Year Ago
      This would be just plain wrong!
      Brian T
      • 1 Year Ago
      What would Jeremy Clarkson say?
      Grimbergen
      • 1 Year Ago
      What if my dinner is getting cold? Or I have to pee really bad?
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