Speed limiters: how they improve fleet safety and fuel efficiency

4 Min Read
#Fleet, #Safety
Share Article
Speed limit sign

Speed limiters are designed to improve safety by limiting the maximum speed of a vehicle. This ensures that drivers stay within the set speed limits, helping them to avoid accidents, expensive fines, and reduce their fuel emissions.

Last year, new rules were introduced to make the equipment of a speed limiter mandatory in all new vehicles. It’s therefore important that businesses understand how this technology works and how it will be beneficial for fleets.

What is a speed limiter and how does it work?

Speed-limiting technology has been used in vehicles for several years, however, it relied on drivers activating it and adjusting the limit each time they enter a new speed zone. The updated software, known as the Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) system, will be used in all new vehicles from 2022 and cannot be switched off which will help to slow drivers down and make the roads safer.

The ISA uses GPS data and traffic sign recognition cameras to identify the speed limit in an area. If the vehicle starts to exceed the speed limit, then the ISA will issue a warning sound and restrict the fuel flowing to the engine, slowing the vehicle back down. As the system may not always be 100% accurate with its speed limit detection, drivers can override it by pushing hard on the accelerator. Drivers should act responsibly and only override the ISA when it’s absolutely necessary and safe to do so.  

What are the new speed limiter rules?

Since 6th July 2022, all new vehicles sold in Europe must be fitted with a speed limiter as a legal requirement, including all those in the UK. The regulations from the European Commission also mandate that all new cars that have already been released need to be fitted with ISA technology by July 2024.

What’s the difference between cruise control and a speed limiter?

Cruise control and the speed limiter are both important safety features in a vehicle as they help drivers manage their speed. Although often confused, they have separate purposes and benefits. Cruise control allows drivers to maintain a consistent pace without having to use the accelerator so they can focus on other aspects of the road.

Speed limiters on the other hand allow drivers to accelerate and decelerate freely, as long as they don’t go above the set speed limit. The purpose of a speed limiter is also different as it acts as a speed warning system whereas cruise control is designed to reduce fatigue on longer journeys.  

What are the benefits of a speed limiter?

The main benefit of a speed limiter is the improvement it makes to road safety. The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) believes that the inclusion of speed limiters in all new vehicles will reduce collisions by 30%. This is because excessive speed is one of the biggest causes of road accidents in the UK, so it’s crucial that drivers stay within the speed limit. As speed limiters force drivers to abide by speed limits, it’s less likely that they’ll face penalty points, which will save drivers money on fines and could help keep insurance costs down.

Research by Cobra UK has found that speed limiters could reduce fuel usage by up to 40% and help drivers to cut down their carbon emissions. It’s been estimated that a van uses 20% more fuel at 80mph than it does at 70mph, so drivers will be saving money on fuel with a speed limiter which will be beneficial for businesses on a budget.

How speed limiters will impact your fleet 

The introduction of speed limiters will have a positive impact on fleets as the risk of accidents will be reduced, plus vehicles will have better fuel efficiency and produce fewer CO2 emissions. Fleet managers can also take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to remind drivers of the importance of road safety and the dangers of speeding. As all new vehicles are now being fitted with this technology, it’s crucial that businesses prepare their drivers and present speed limiters as a genuine benefit rather than a hindrance.

Speed limiters could also help to improve your business reputation. If drivers are caught speeding by a member of the public, it could reflect badly on the company particularly if the vehicle has your logo emblazed on it. By ensuring that drivers are acting responsibly on the roads, you can protect your reputation and save money on expensive fines.

However, speed limiters could cause delays for businesses as all journeys will be carried out at a slower pace. In addition, drivers need to ensure that they’re not wholly reliant on the speed limiter and are still paying attention to the road. This is particularly important for those that travel long distances and are already at risk of falling asleep at the wheel.

Our wide range of fuel cards can also help businesses to reduce their fuel costs and allow drivers to conveniently pay for their business fuel without needing to keep hold of receipts. Our online account management system details all transactions, so you can easily keep track of how much your drivers are spending. Contact our team today to find out more or use our comparison tool to discover which fuel card we’d recommend for your business.

Picture of employee

Karl Gurney
Head of Sales

Karl has over 14 years of experience in the fuel card industry and has a wealth of knowledge around the servicing and maintenance of fleet vehicles. Outside of work, Karl coaches a junior football team and enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 sons.