As seen on:

SMH Logo News Logo

Call 1300 303 181

Australia’s Best New Car News, Reviews and Buying Advice

Speed Limiters Will be Heading Down Under

Those driving trucks will already be all too familiar with speed limiters, but it looks like the rest of us could well be confronted by the same prospect. You see, the European Union earlier this year sought to introduce new legislation that would make it mandatory for new cars to come with a series of safety aids previously deemed optional.

Some of these measures would be no surprise to Australian drivers. The likes of autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning are slowly becoming more commonplace in the latest vehicles. Other features however, would be raising a few eyebrows.

Take alcohol interlock installations for example. Many Aussies would view these as much a punitive measure and infringement of our rights, than a precautionary safety aid – even though it could go some way to reduce alcohol related road trauma. And then you have speed limiters. While in theory the premise that speed kills has been discussed extensively, there is argument in some quarters that this type of intervention might not have the desired impact.


What’s happening

Changes are not expected to unfold for some time, however the leading indicator will be the European market. With legislation set to come into effect in May 2022 – and 2024 for vehicles already on sale – it provides manufacturers and motorists with ample time to facilitate the changes.

The Europeans aren’t going it alone mind you. They’re actually taking heed of the suggestions being put forward by the United Nations, which is surprisingly taking a lead in this area by putting forward a proposal for such technology.

By now you’re probably thinking, so what, Australia has its own road rules and governance initiatives in place. That may be the case, but we are part of a working group helping the UN tackle this ‘issue’. Let’s also not forget that shared testing practices are common between jurisdictions, as is the case with ANCAP and EuroNCAP. This extends to the mandatory inclusion of AEB and lane-departure warning for a 5-star safety score.

Behind the scenes, what you may not also be aware of is an initiative that ANCAP has been undertaking for some time. They have been engaging in telemetry to assess the accuracy of speedometers in new cars. The thing is, one barrier standing in their way is provisions in the law permitting manufacturers to calibrate speedometers as much as 10 per cent higher than your actual driving speed. On top of this, speed sign recognition and GPS precision are hardly foolproof.

Aside from the concerning implications this sort of technology could have during overtaking conditions, particularly in rural areas, and the regulatory overreach that will aggravate many road users, something else is clear. Speed is a definite factor in accidents, but we already have a variety of initiatives to tackle this. Even if we become compelled to follow in the EU’s footsteps, as it appears will be the case, we’re certainly nowhere near ready.


  1. Albert says:

    10 years ago we owned a Renault van fitted standard with a driver variable speed limiter. It was great: They should be standard on all vehicles. Simply set the maximum speed you want to travel according to road rules and that’s it. No risk of being distracted and creeping over the limit. And yes, there was an emergency override. Just floor the go pedal.

    October 24th, 2019 at 1:22 pm


    What about a device that stops mobile phones being used ia vehicle

    October 24th, 2019 at 4:28 pm

  3. Drug and Alcohol Detectors Could be in All Future New Cars says:

    […] on the heels of speed limiters, which look set to become a standard item in the not too distant future, government officials are […]

    December 19th, 2019 at 5:25 pm