Members of the European Parliament (MEP) have passed a new road safety proposal.  The legislation is aimed at the mandatory implementation of more life-saving technology in new vehicles.

The MEPs approved a set of rules making several advanced safety features mandatory new vehicles of various categories sold in the European Union (EU) market.    Most of the requirements seem appropriate considering the significant increases in vehicle technology.

The following advanced safety features will become mandatory in all vehicles:

  • Alcohol interlock installation facilitation (i.e. a standardized interface facilitating the installation of aftermarket alcohol interlock devices);
  • Driver drowsiness and attention warning;
  • Advanced driver distraction warning;
  • Intelligent speed assistance;
  • Emergency stop signal;
  • Reversing detection;
  • An accident data recorder.

While each of the above requirements may seem somewhat reasonable, it’s the “intelligent speed assistance” that has some people concerned.  As envisioned, “intelligent speed assistance” would provide an alert when a vehicle exceeds posted speed limits.  Drivers can manually override the system under the proposal though.

But some question whether it will be a feature you can disable by simply turning it off, or whether a driver would have to turn it off each time the vehicle is started.  If “intelligent speed assistance” works like many manufacturers’ automatic stop/start technology, drivers could be in for a growing pre-drive checklist to turn off systems which are not wanted.

It’s not clear whether any (or all) of these systems will be required on motorcycles in the future.  But it’s clear that in the name of safety, electronics are going to continue to play a larger role in the vehicles we drive/ride.


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