Breathalysers Must Be Available In All New Cars From Next Year

All new cars from 2022 must be compatible with breathalysers. This follows an historic decision made by the European Council…

‘Biggest Leap In A Century’

From 2022, all new cars will need to be compatible with breathalysers. The legislation was actually approved back in 2019, when the European Council formally approved the motion. The technology, designed to stop drink-drivers from starting their cars, has been described as an enormous leap forward in driving safety. Road charity Brake, in a statement, described the move as the “biggest leap forward for road safety this century.” Timo Harakka, serving on the European Council, claimed that the breathalysers would save lives and reduce serious injuries. In addition, the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has suggested that their inclusion will reduce collisions by 30% and save 25,000 lives throughout Europe over the next five years alone.

As it stands, specific details concerning the legislation are sparse. What we do know is that some of the technology will require repeat tests; this will be to prevent drink-drivers from relying on friends or passengers to provide a sample. It’s not quite clear how the UK will be affected, either. Neil Greig, the director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, said the decision will be the UK government’s. He said, “although all new cars from 2022 will be enabled to have an alcolock, it will be up to the UK Government to decide how they are used.” Whilst he welcomed the European Council’s decision, he explained most drivers will be unaffected saying, “it is very unlikely that the vast majority of the law-abiding public will ever have to blow in a tube to start their car.”

Other Innovations 

Breathalysers aren’t the only safety innovation passed by the European Council. Speed limiter software will also become the default from 2022. In essence, these force drivers to obey speed limits. They work via a “speed sign-recognition camera and/or GPS-linked speed limit data; to advise drivers of the current speed limit and automatically limit the speed of the vehicle as needed”. At first, the software will be able to be overridden by applying firm pressure to the accelerator. However, in the long-term these overrides may disappear entirely. The UK’s Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) has suggested that it’ll continue to mirror EU legislation, which means the limiters are likely to be introduced here as well; despite circumstances surrounding Brexit.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at Brake, welcome the Council’s introductions. He said, “drink-driving and speeding are a scourge on our roads and the cause of devastating crashes every day. On the eve of Road Safety Week, it’s fantastic to hear that alcohol interlock compatibility and speed limiting technology will soon be mandatory”. Whether the majority of motorists will be as welcoming of the measures or not remains to be seen. What do you think, are the measures a necessity or are they somewhat draconian?

Calls For Driving Test Changes To Counter Drink-Driving –

90% Of Drivers Support Installing Breathalysers In Cars –

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