A major new law has come into effect that could see British motorists' cars installed with a device to make it automatically slow down if speeding.
As of today (Wednesday, July 6) all new vehicles manufactured in the European Union will come equipped with safety technology which identifies the local speed limit and ensures drivers stick to it.
Using Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) technology, anyone travelling on a motorway will get a warning if they exceed the a maximum national speed of 70mph, for example.
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If motorists do not then curb their speed, the system – which utilises GPS data and traffic sign-recognition cameras – can reduce engine power.
Speed limiters are already fitted on many cars and can be overridden by pressing hard on the accelerator, allowing the car to go above the permitted speed for a short amount of time in the case of emergencies – such as avoiding an accident on the road.
After that it will re-engage.
Drivers can also manually shutdown the system, but it gets reactivated each time a car ignition is turned on and off.
The ruling is one of several new driving laws which have also come into force in recent weeks to help boost road safety and reduce emissions.
"The new speed limiters will hopefully see new drivers sticking to the recommended speed limits," said Jonathan White of the National Accident Helpline.
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“The technology is designed to warn drivers when they are approaching the speed limit.
"If the driver doesn’t slow down, the speed limiter reduces the engine’s power and the vehicle’s speed."
The new law will not apply to cars already in circulation, and will only see motors sold from the above specified date fitted with the technology.
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