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Would you say yes to a device that limits your top speed?

UK motorists seem to be warming to the idea of having a device that stops a car from going over the speed limit, according to a recent survey.

Road safety charity Brake asked 1,000 UK motorists whether they would be ‘willing to relinquish some element of personal control over the vehicle if it means improving safety and avoiding penalties’.

32 per cent of respondents said they would be willing to have a ‘mandatory Intelligent Speed Adaptation’ (ISA) device, which stops a car from going beyond the legal limit and cannot be overridden.

31 per cent said yes to a ‘voluntary ISA’, which holds the car to the maximum speed limit but can be overridden by the driver.

23 per cent said yes to an ‘advisory ISA’ form of the device, which only warns drivers when they break the speed limit but doesn’t intervene, while 14 per cent said no to any form of speed limiting technology.

Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) works by using a digital map of speed limits and GPS to find out the speed limit of an area.

Brake director of communications and campaigns Gary Rae said: “ISA represents a game-changer for road safety, with the potential to make all other speed enforcement unnecessary and prevent nearly half the devastating deaths on our roads.

“As speed is at least an aggravating factor in almost all road crashes, this technology could make our roads much safer for everyone, and prevent thousands of senseless casualties every year if rolled out systematically.

“As yet, there has not been the political will to roll out ISA despite its potential. However, as these results clearly demonstrate, the willingness exists among the driving public to use ISA to make speeding on UK roads a thing of the past.”

Controlled trials of ISA in the UK have predicted mandatory ISA could reduce the number of road deaths by 46 per cent, 21 per cent in the case of voluntary ISA and five per cent in the case of advisory ISA, according to figures from a 2012 report by the European Commission.

Brake asked the same group of motorists if telematics should be installed in vehicles. 48 per cent said it should be available to put on an existing vehicle if they choose to do so.

46 per cent, meanwhile, said it should be fitted as standard in all new vehicles and 27 per cent it should be mandatory for young or inexperienced drivers – a group of drivers with the highest crash risk.

Another 27 per cent said it should be required for all drivers who have been found guilty of an offence. 18 per cent said it should be fitted for all drivers regardless of the car’s age. 7 per cent said it should not be used at all.

Telematics devices are essentially the car equivalent of the black box you get in a plane. They are able to track your driving habits such as speed, braking, acceleration and crash data, with the results monitored by insurers.

A benefit of telematics is it enables younger drivers to potentially have a cheaper insurance premium, but there have been reports of insurers abusing it to make more money from motorists in fines.

Also some telematics-based policies have a curfew built in that disables a car at a pre-selected time, which sadly lead to the death of two teenagers who tried to get home in time and crashed.

Should drivers have the freedom to break the speed limit or is it time to clamp down on speeding? Let us know.


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