How would you feel if your vehicle was fitted with an automatic speed cap? Well, van drivers could face just that after one leading member of European Parliament called for the vehicles to be fitted with limiters restricting them to 75 miles per hour.
What's being proposed?
The recommendation was made by British Conservative MEP Martin Callanan as part of a draft report into van CO2 emissions and is proposed for introduction across the EU by 2015.
This move may have come as a surprise to some but it’s not a new concept. Speed limiters have been introduced by several van operators voluntarily in recent years, and the Freight Transport Association has also created a code of excellence for van fleets that aims to go beyond legal requirements to ensure safety and energy efficiency.
Is it all really necessary?
It’s likely many quarters will see the proposal as further unnecessary persecution of van drivers who are already set to face stricter legislation in the coming few years. Aside from speed limiters, other proposals put forward include lowering of the O licensing threshold to 2.8 tonnes and forcing Class 7 light commercials to go through an annual MOT from their first registration date.
On top of this, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) believe that the speed devices could, in fact, increase risk on the roads. The organisation says that the introduction of such limiters “would result in an increase of lane changes for passing such vehicles and increased risk for passenger cars, reduction in traffic flow and increased risk of accidents”.
The measures will be voted on by the European Parliament’s Environment Committee on 28 September, and we want to hear your views before then. Is this a necessary change to improve the safety of our roads, or are van drivers being unfairly picked on?
Post your comments here on our van blog discussion.