Fleet News

Speed limiters for all fleet cars

An influential body that advises members of the House of Commons and of the House of Lords on road safety has recommended that all fleet cars should be fitted with intelligent speed adaptation (ISA) systems.

The systems, which have just completed 11 months of pilot testing by the Department for Transport, automatically restrict a vehicle’s speed via GPS and a database of speed limits.

While a driver can override the system in an emergency, an event data recorder would log each time this happens.

The recommendation by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) is contained in its report - Beyond 2010 - a holistic approach to road safety in Great Britain – which was launched this week.

The report will be sent to MPs, DfT officials and the Minister for Road Safety, Jim Fitzpatrick.

PACTS director Rob Gifford said ISA systems, which also automatically reduce a vehicle’s speed in poor weather or at night, could result in a dramatic reduction in fatal crashes.

“We could see a 55% reduction in fatal accidents,” he said.

“And while the ISA systems are still about 15 years away, fixed systems are already here.”

All that is needed, he said, is for local authorities to provide the data on the exact locations of each speed limit change so a national database can be created.

The PACTS report found that between a quarter and a third of all road traffic incidents involve someone who was at work at the time.

Therefore, based on 2005 figures, this equated to between 800 and 1,100 deaths a year. It also states that company car drivers and high-mileage drivers who drive for work are 50% more likely to be involved in injury accidents.

PACTS is also calling on the HSE to establish and resource a road deaths investigation unit that would investigate fatal crashes involving drivers who were working at the time.

In addition, it says coroners should have additional powers to investigate fatal crashes involving fleet drivers similar to those in Scotland where blame can be apportioned to an employer.

Among its other recommendations are that a default speed limit of 20mph in all built up areas is implemented in ways that achieve high levels of compliance, and that priority is given to early type approval of time-over-distance cameras for use at speeds below 30mph.

That the publicity strategy for road pricing zones includes the dangers of driving tired, with a particular emphasis on driving while at work.

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