The European Union and UK will have speed-limiting devices as mandatory for new vehicles sold from 2022-onward, says the BBC.
So far, it seems the system proposed by the European Transport Safety Council (and for some reason adopted by a post-Brexit UK, if that’s still on) will apply to cars. At this point, there seems to be no solid plan to require such technology for motorcyclists, says the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Assocations (FEMA). However, FEMA does say it expects similar laws and technology will come to motorcyclists in the future.
“It may simply be a matter of time until it is technically possible,” reads FEMA’s website. “FEMA anticipate that it will be applied to powered two-wheelers (PTWs) in due course. We totally oppose its application as more than an advisory warning system. The stated position of FEMA and the BMF is that the most we would accept is throttle resistance increasing as the limit is exceeded and that it must leave control of speed in riders’ hands.”
Indeed, considering the EU’s long-term plans for elimination of traffic accidents, it’s hard to see how that would be possible without almost total automation any roadway activity.
The proposed system for cars will be able to be over-ridden, in case of needed speed for passing situations, and the BBC even says a full on-off switch for the speed limiter is likely, but that it would re-set itself every time the vehicle is started. In other words, the default setting will be the onboard speed limiting system.
The speed limiting system will use GPS date and a camera that reads speed limit signs to determine the appropriate speed for a section of roadway.
Road safety organizations in the EU are applauding the move, saying the tech will save lives, while driver’s advocacy organizations are less enthused. Insurers are hinting the speed limiting devices may come with a reduction in insurance rates, although we’ll believe that when we see it.
Will speed limiters make motorcycles safer if the devices are only installed on cars? Probably not, as it’s not speeding drivers that are the biggest danger to riders—it’s distracted, impaired, incautious or unobservant drivers, and no automated speed limiting system can address those problems.