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ETSC welcomes ISA study

Monday 11th November 2013

The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has heralded a new EC study which looks at in-vehicle speed management technologies for commercial vehicles as “a significant step in rolling out Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) technologies in the EU”.

In a strongly worded statement, the ETSC’s executive director said that to turn the debate about ISA into one about personal freedom is “short-sighted and quite frankly irresponsible”.

ETSC describes ISA as “the term given to a range of devices that assist drivers in choosing appropriate speeds and complying with speed limits” and which “bring speed limit information into the vehicle”.

The EC study evaluates the “effects of the implementation of Directive 92/6/EEC on speed limitation devices”. The study recommends exploring the options of introducing ISA to vehicles currently covered by the legislation, as well as extending its requirements to some light commercial vehicles.

Antonio Avenoso, ETSC executive director, said: “Speed is the biggest risk factor leading to deaths and injuries on EU roads. As such, action to observe better compliance with speed limits across the EU is fundamental if we are serious about reducing the unacceptably high toll of traffic collisions.

“It is very important to make it clear that ISA technologies in no way take away the driver’s control over the vehicle, while there is also a strong acceptance and recognition by the public of the fact that speeding is a major road safety problem.

“Trying to turn the debate away from preventing death and injury to an argument about personal freedom is short-sighted and quite frankly irresponsible. Constantly knowing the speed limit, as well as having a warning from the vehicle if one is going too fast, is not some Orwellian dystopia, but a scientifically proven way of saving lives. We should put to bed the idea that freedom means one should be allowed to needlessly put others at risk.”

Click here to read the full ETSC press release, or for more information contact Mircea Steriu, ETSC communications manager.

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ISA's economic case is seriously flawed being based on constant casualty rates without ISA (they have since fallen steeply), rising traffic volumes into the indefinite future (peak traffic has passed) and DfT "values" of accidents prevented that are away with the fairies.

It also claims to reduce accidents by far higher proportions than ever involve speeding - a nonsense - and ignores the accidents that it will itself cause, probably more than it would ever prevent. See http://www.fightbackwithfacts.com/intelligent-speed-adaptation/
Have none of these people ever needed to accelerate out of trouble? Do they not realise, as airlines did decades ago, that the more automated the task the less able the operator to respond to emergencies?
Idris Francis Fight Back with Facts Petersfield

Agree (4) | Disagree (3)
+1

You think that this is all new. just look at motorcycling. There are now so many electronic gadgets that one may possibly do without the rider as all he does is get the bike into trouble and the electronics will within 3 thousandth of a second put the matter right.

All this come from developments on the race track that will enable a rider to finish a race rather than high side or low side. The amount of sophisticated technology is unbelievable and all to keep a rider safe. That is until he is hit by a car driver. No electronics to prevent that.... yet.
bob craven Lancs

Agree (4) | Disagree (0)
+4

Just to clarify - if as stated, ISA "...in no way take away the driverís control over the vehicle.." i.e is a passive warning system, then I don't have a problem with that as we already have VASs. But an active system which alters the throttle and brakes independently of the driver makes me think things have gone too far in compensating for the driver who can't or won't be bothered to do things correctly themselves..it's not that difficult after all.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (9) | Disagree (0)
+9

Has anyone driven with ISA? My car had a speed limiter which I used to set to the speed limit. It was strange. You don't realise just how low speed limits now are and the car kept taking control of the speed away from me.

At first it's disconcerting as you find yourself dawdling along opening and closing the accelerator and the car just continues at the same speed. After a while, though, it becomes very difficult to concentrate. You stop adjusting the speed for the conditions for long periods and often fail to notice situations slowly developing ahead. It was not uncommon to suddenly find you're going much faster than intended and having to make a sudden correction.

I can see how ISA might prevent a few collisions, but I'm sure it will contribute to causing others. Will ISA prevent more than it causes? What test would tell us?
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (11) | Disagree (3)
+8

"Speed is the biggest risk factor leading to deaths and injuries on EU roads". Not true - it is driver error, and usually within the speed limit.

"Action to observe better compliance with speed limits across the EU is fundamental if we are serious about reducing the unacceptably high toll of traffic collisions." Not true. It is possible to drive safely all day with a broken speedometer (even though you will occasionally exceed a speed limit) as long as you drive according to the conditions.

"Constantly knowing the speed limit, as well as having a warning from the vehicle if one is going too fast, is not some Orwellian dystopia, but a scientifically proven way of saving lives." Not true. There is no such proof, scientific or otherwise.
Eric Bridgstock, Independent Road Safety Research, St Albans

Agree (7) | Disagree (18)
-11

It's not the personal freedom angle that bothers me, it's the fact that the authorities seem to be giving up on drivers accepting this responsibilty for themselves and intervening as if there is no other alternative. It's as if they're saying "No need to concentrate on driving safely anymore - the ISA system will do it for you". I would rather people drove safer voluntarily.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (11) | Disagree (0)
+11