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Car speed limiters ‘would save lives’

A system to control the speed of cars to ensure they do not break the limit should be introduced in Northern Ireland in a bid to save lives — and the environment, a report has urged.

Intelligent speed adaption would produce improved safety and reduced pollution, the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) added.

It called for a voluntary |scheme where the system could be overridden by the driver.

“If successful the technology should be rolled out to all government, public sector and public transport operators' vehicles,” the dossier said.

It would be linked to the engine and braking system and control the vehicle's speed to ensure it does not exceed the limit but could be changed by the driver.

The technology was first investigated by the Department of Transport in England and its report concluded that substantial reductions in excessive speed and considerable benefits for the safety of motorists could result from it being introduced.

A more recent report by the Commission for Integrated Transport looked at the wider environmental benefits and suggested making the fitting mandatory to all cars over a 60-year period could save 25 million tonnes of carbon.

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE) some vehicles are fitted with alarms when the speed limit is broken. This report called for accelerated action to enable the widespread introduction of voluntary technology, setting out a clear timetable for the recommendations of the Commission.

Jim Kitchen, head of the commission in Northern Ireland, said: “While information technology alone will not provide all the answers it could go a long way towards making travel in Northern Ireland safer, more pleasant and more sustainable. Already, eco-driving technology can help motorists spend less at the pumps and reduce their emissions; better information can make using public transport easier, and video conferencing technology can help business travellers avoid some journeys altogether.

“It can help provide a better work-life balance, more time with our families as well as more productive working time.”

Belfast Telegraph