Road Safety GB has issued a comment after the DfT confirmed a new package of mandatory minimum vehicle safety standards – set to be introduced by the EU – will apply in the UK whatever the outcome of Brexit.
On 25 March, EU lawmakers reached a provisional agreement on the package – with formal votes set to take place later this year.
Steve Horton, Road Safety GB’s director of communications, said: “This is a development that road safety professionals will support because it removes the concern for when speed is legal and allows drivers to concentrate on the road and appropriate speed for the time and place.
“The common excuses used by drivers who are caught speeding are that they either don’t know what the limit is for that road, or that if they were expected to constantly monitor their speedometer it would take their attention away from the road… and that would be unsafe, wouldn’t it?
“So drivers recognise that sticking to speed limits is a challenge, in which case a system of automatically setting speed to the legal limit would free up drivers to make the critical decision of what speed is both legal and appropriate.
“I’m sure some drivers would challenge the automation of speed limit adherence on the basis that ‘sometimes it’s safer to speed up’ – but generally the benefit of accelerating out of danger is less effective than stopping before the danger.
“Speed is of course linked to severity of injury; the faster you travel, then the harder you hit and the more damage you do. The faster you travel the harder it is to process the hazards coming towards you and the more space and time you need to react and stop.”
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27 March 2019