Fleets should consider making it a disciplinary offence for drivers to override the new intelligent speed assistance (ISA) limiters that become mandatory on all new cars from next month, says FleetCheck.

The new technology – an EU measure to which the UK continues to ascribe – means that drivers are made aware through a range of warnings when they are exceeding the speed limit. These include visual and audio alerts, and haptic feedback through the accelerator pedal.

Peter Golding, managing director at the fleet software company, said: “These systems can be overridden but the driver has to make a conscious effort to do so, and fleets should make it clear that will not be tolerated.

“While this technology is not perfect, it will provide valuable guidance to drivers on the road in real time. They will almost always know when they are exceeding the speed limit.

“In risk management terms, tolerating any speeding offences is potentially questionable and, in our opinion, this technology makes it even more so. We are almost certainly moving into an era when there should be something approaching zero tolerance for speeding.”

Peter said that the EU had introduced the measure following a Norwegian study that showed that ISA was the single most effective technology available for reducing injury on the road. The European Transport Safety Council says it should reduce collisions by 30%.

“There will no doubt be some pushback about this from some drivers who feel this kind of technology is invasive or annoying but it is difficult to argue with the positive safety impact, and ISA’s introduction is very much something that should be welcomed by fleets and relayed to drivers as a positive step that will help to protect them on the road.”

He added that the technology was probably not sufficiently reliable that fleets could use it to adopt a zero tolerance approach to speeding. Sometimes, speed limits could be misread or misapplied over a stretch of road.

“ISA tends to use a combination of GPS and visual reading of road signs, and this can lead to errors. Even the EU states that ultimately the responsibility of knowing the speed limit is down to the driver and this is where the ultimate responsibility lies.”