Driving law changes launching today will see EU speed limiters installed in all new cars

UK motorway and a speedometer

The new rules will apply for all new vehicles manufactured in the EU

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 07/07/2024

- 07:00

Experts have called on drivers to familiarise themselves with the new rules

New driving law changes being introduced today will see motorists impacted by huge changes that apply to all new vehicles in a bid to improve safety on roads.

From today, Sunday, July 7, the European Union's "New Vehicle General Safety Regulation" measures will be introduced to amend minimum performance standards for motor vehicles with new Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

The majority of vehicles sold in the UK will use the EU specification software from the GSR2 measures, with these likely also being seen in new vehicles on UK markets to avoid costly specific variants.

However, the new road safety measures will not be mandatory for all new vehicles in the UK, although they will apply to Northern Ireland through EU-type approval processes as a result of the Northern Ireland Protocols.

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A car dashboardAudio and visual signals will alert drivers when they are exceeding the speed limit PA

One of the main features seen as part of the new measures is Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) which introduces technology to new vehicles that will alert the drivers when they are exceeding the speed limits through audio, visual or haptic feedback.

Rod Dennis, road safety spokesperson at the RAC, clarified that the ISA technology would not be mandated for all new cars sold in the UK.

However, he said it would be "surprising" if manufacturers would deliberately exclude the feature from vehicles being sold in the UK as it would add "unnecessary cost to production."

He added: “Anyone getting a new vehicle would be well advised to familiarise themselves with ISA and how it works.

"In practice, if a driver exceeds the speed limit, an audible warning is sounded and then the car’s speed is automatically reduced. But a driver can still press hard on the accelerator to override it momentarily, for instance, to negotiate a hazard in the road ahead."

Dennis issued a warning, however, reminding drivers that just because they can accelerate as fast as they can, doesn't mean they should.

He said this was especially important in various weather conditions, including traffic, bad weather or when travelling at night.

The Department for Transport has commissioned research which looks at the positive and negative impacts that would come if the rules were to be introduced in Great Britain, with an update expected in the near future.

The DfT remains a member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) which incentivises many technologies already included in the General Safety Regulation.

If any rules were to change in relation to the new safety features, the DfT stated that it would require consultation and legislation to amend the GB-type approval scheme.

Louise Thomas, motoring expert at Confused.com car insurance, said: “As new EU Laws come into effect this week, any cars coming to the UK from Europe will now have speed limiters fitted as standard.

"Speeding is one of the most common offences made by drivers and our latest research found how more than nine million drivers have been caught speeding on UK roads in the past five years.


speed limiters in car

Drivers can override the ISA technology by pressing on the accelerator


"So this technology could really help to crack down on drivers who risk the safety of themselves and other road users when behind the wheel."

She said this was one of many driving law changes being introduced with the aim of improving road safety, including the national rollout of AI speed cameras that can see inside vehicles to monitor distracted drivers.

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