Speed limiters may be used for cars in EU plan

Drivers may be forced to have their cars fitted with technology which keeps them within the speed limit under new road safety rules being considered by the EU.

New cars would have to feature systems capable of detecting limits through cameras or satellites and automatically applying the brakes.

Existing cars could be forced back to the garage to be fitted with the devices, which would mean that no car in the UK could go over the 70mph speed limit for motorways.

But transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has instructed officials to fight the move after he was asked for his views ahead of formal proposals by the European Commission (EC) this autumn.

A goverment source said: “To be forced to have automatic controls in your car amounts to Big Brother nannying by EU bureaucrats.”

The EC’s Mobility and Transport Department wants to roll out the Intelligent Speed Authority technology in a bid to cut the death toll from road collisions by a third by 2020.

More than 30,000 people die on the road in EU countries every year and 1.5 million are hurt, with 120,000 left permanently disabled.

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But Mr McLoughlin has told officials that the UK has one of the best road safety records in Europe, with deaths down from 1,901 to 1,754 last year – the lowest figure since records began in 1926.