Brake urge introduction of ISA

Brake, the road safety charity, is urging the government to take steps towards introducing intelligent speed adaptation (ISA) on UK roads, after a survey carried out on behalf of the charity found almost two-thirds (63%) of drivers would be willing to let this ground-breaking technology automatically restrict their speed.

ISA technology uses GPS combined with a digital map of speed limits to keep vehicles to the posted speed limit. This technology could potentially make other speed control measures unnecessary and ensure all drivers comply with speed limits at all times, preventing thousands of needless deaths and injuries.

In the survey:

Almost a third of drivers (32%) said they would be willing to have ‘mandatory ISA’ fitted to their vehicle if it was free. This automatically decreases acceleration if the driver exceeds the speed limit, and cannot be overridden.

  • Three in ten (31%) said they would be willing to have ‘voluntary ISA’ fitted if it was free. This automatically decreases acceleration if the driver exceeds the speed limit, but can be overridden.
  • A further quarter (23%) of drivers said they would be willing to have ‘advisory ISA’ fitted, a system which alerts them when they are over the speed limit, but does not automatically reduce speed.
  • That leaves only one in seven (14%) of drivers unwilling to make use of the technology in any form.

Controlled trials of ISA have predicted voluntary ISA could reduce road deaths by 21%, and mandatory ISA could reduce deaths by 46%. Advisory ISA is far less effective, but could still reduce fatal crashes by 5% [1]. This could save 85 lives a year.

The survey found overwhelming support for the introduction of ‘telematics’, with almost three quarters (73%) of UK drivers say they would be likely or very likely to have telematics fitted in their vehicles, given the option.

Brake calls for the government to take full advantage of ISA, by producing a digital speed limit road map of the country, requiring vehicle manufacturers to equip all vehicles with ISA technology, and making ISA mandatory, introducing it with an effective marketing campaign to explain its purpose.

Gary Rae, director of communications and campaigns at Brake said, ‘ISA represents a game-changer for road safety, with the potential to make all other speed enforcement unnecessary and prevent nearly half the devastating deaths on our roads. As speed is at least an aggravating factor in almost all road crashes, this technology could make our roads much safer for everyone, and prevent thousands of senseless casualties every year if rolled out systematically. As yet, there has not been the political will to roll out ISA despite its potential. However, as these results clearly demonstrate, the willingness exists among the driving public to use ISA to make speeding on UK roads a thing of the past.’