The plan is one of six 'priority measures' highlighted by the Commission as part of its bid to reduce the number of deaths caused by accidents on Europe's roads.
An official EC statement said the Commission 'has identified the following priority measure: legislation on speed limiters for light commercial vehicles. It is proposed to extend existing legislation which requires lorries in excess of 12 tonnes to be fitted with speed limiters'.
Van manufacturers can now factory-fit a speed limiter simply by altering a vehicle's ECU engine management system in a very low cost process.
But if the EC were to issue a directive enforcing the retrospective fitment of speed limiters, fleets would face a cost of up to €300 per vehicle for a reliable, warranted unit.
Another Commission priority is its campaign against drinking and driving, and the EC has now recommended that Member States adopt maximum limits of 0.5 grammes of alcohol per litre of blood.
The programme of measures coincided with figures that revealed more than 42,000 road deaths last year within the European Union.
Loyola de Palacio, Commission vice-president with special responsibility for transport, said: 'We cannot simply resign ourselves to a daily tragedy on this scale.'
She also highlighted the need for new legislation to introduce safer car fronts to protect pedestrians and cyclists, and said further research should be carried out on medical standards for driving licences, standards for driving tests, daytime running lights, the effects of medicines on driver behaviour and post-accident care. (May 2000)