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.”