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Compulsory Speed Limiters On New Vehicles

Audi RS7 Speedometer Close Up

Audi RS7 Speedometer Close Up Speed LimiterAll new vehicles sold within the EU from 2022 onwards will have to be fitted with several advanced safety systems, the main of which a built-in speed limiter.

This is intended to combat the rising levels of speed and distraction-related road accidents, with hope to reduce road casualties by 140,000 by 2038, and to completely eliminate road deaths by 2050.

These rules will apply in the UK despite the outcome of Brexit, according to the Department of Transport. The announcement has been praised by road safety charities, and the ETSC which say it has the potential to reduce collisions by 30% and save 25,000 lives within 15 years.

However, the AA has shown some concern over the practicality in road situations, such as the chance to boost speed often helping drivers when overtaking.

The intelligent speed assistance (ISA) software includes a speed limiter, advanced emergency braking systems, and lane departure warnings, along with detection of driver distraction and drowsiness.

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How Does A Speed Limiter Work?

Intelligent speed assistance doesn’t automatically apply the brakes. However, it does limit the engine power and prevents acceleration past the set speed limit

It ensures that the speed of the vehicle is automatically adjusted by using a “speed sign-recognition camera and/or GPS-linked speed limit data,” according to the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC).

However, in regards to the AAs concerns, there will be a manual override option so that the driver can remain in control of the vehicle’s speed if necessary.

If disabled, the system will continue to display a visual speed limit warning, along with an audible alert for a period of time after exceeding the areas limit.

When enabled, the driver still holds responsibility for the vehicle and will continue to be liable for any speeding offences committed.

Speed Limiter In New Cars

Distracted and Drunk Driving

An alcohol interlock system to prevent drunk driving will also become a requirement, with the driver having to blow into a built-in breathalyser in order to start the vehicle.

Distraction monitoring cameras will be used inside the car to detect when the driver is distracted or tired. This will trigger the same audible and visual warnings as the ISA system in order to regain the drivers’ attention on the road.

What Else?

Other safety features which will be made compulsory are advanced automatic emergency braking systems, and emergency stop signal, a rear-view camera or parking sensor, and an accident data recorder.

Matthew Avery, director of Thatcham Research, said the new legislation is “great news for road safety, because about 15% of fatalities involve speeding.” However, he pointed out that Thatcham tests show that speed-limit-recognition technology is currently only 85% effective, with this primarily down to poor road signing.

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Car Cloning In London Increases By 50%

Mercedes fleet cars lined upIn just one year, the number of car cloning cases in London alone have risen by 50%, according to recent data. Similar levels of cloning may be across the UK, but has yet to be confirmed.

A study looked at the number of penalty charge notices cancelled due to car cloning. Throughout 2016, there were 1099 recorded cases, which increased to 1652 by the end of 2017. The numbers have continued to rise throughout 2018 as car cloning becomes more and more of a concern.

However, it is likely that the actual number of cloned cars on London’s roads is much higher. The penalty charge notice appeal process is complex and lengthy, likely putting many people off who would find it easier to pay the £65 fee. Also, the congestion charges only operate Monday to Friday, leaving two days of the week unmonitored.

In order to appeal against a fine issued to a cloned vehicle, evidence from the registered owner is required to show that their car was elsewhere during the time the penalty was procured. Dash camera footage could prove critical in these cases. Without evidence, appeals may not be accepted.

What is Car CloningCar number plate BMW Fleet Witness

Car cloning is a form of stealing the identity of another car by changing the clone cars number plate to match another, usually of a similar make and model. This results in any offences committed in the cloned vehicle will result in the registered owner of the real license plate being charged.

Cars are usually cloned to disguise a stolen vehicle. However, they are also often used to avoid speeding or parking fines, or even in serious crimes such as robbery and drug trafficking.

What Has Been Said

Daniel Powell, Managing Editor for HonestJohn.co.uk had this to say:

“This is just the tip of the iceberg. On the grounds that it is down to the car owner to prove they are innocent, it would be safe to assume that the true figure for car cloning in London is significantly higher as many drivers will be unable to supply the evidence TfL requires to cancel the PCN.”

“For those involved, it can be a very frightening and stressful experience because they will be threatened with crippling fines and court action if they cannot provide comprehensive proof that they were not on the capital’s roads. It also raises an important question – how many drivers simply pay the fine to avoid the stress?”

“There are a number of steps car owners can take to protect themselves, with the most obvious one being photos of their car to show the subtle differences between the clone and legitimate vehicle. Legal number plates usually have the manufacturer’s logo on them, while the clones are usually blank. CCTV footage will also prove a car’s location at a certain time, along with footage from a dash camera with GPS tracking.Fleet Witnes Forward Facing Dash Cam FWDC01

In response to this research, TfL said: “Prior to issuing the PCN we manually verify that the image of the vehicle observed in the zone matches the vehicle information provided by the DVLA. Only when there is a match is a penalty issued. At the point of issuing the penalty, we would not know if a vehicle had been cloned.”

“On receipt of the penalty, a motorist can follow the representations and appeals procedure and challenge a PCN. If we receive a representation stating a vehicle has been cloned we request evidence to confirm this.”