Fleet News

Speed limiter idea gains momentum

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

The recommendation follows a similar proposal by the Commission for Integrated Transport (Fleet News, September 20).

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

While a driver can override the system, an event data recorder logs each time this happens.

The recommendation by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) is contained in a report sent to MPs, Government officials and the Road Safety Minister 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 cut in fatal crashes. “We could see a 55% reduction,” he said.

The report targets fleet drivers because between a quarter and a third of all road traffic incidents involve at-work drivers.

It points out that those who drive for work are 50% more likely to be involved in injury accidents than other drivers.

But ACFO, the fleet operators’ assocation, has hit out at the report’s recommendation. Chairman Julie Jenner said: “This whole issue of speed is not going to be fixed by fitting speed limiters to all company cars.

“While I accept that company-owned vehicles use the roads more and are therefore more likely to be involved in accidents, it is the concept of inappropriate speed that is the cause.

“Most fleet drivers already feel they are a cash cow for the Government – to hit them with further legislation is an easy option.”

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