A new EU rule has been announced that means all new cars will be fitted with breathalysers and speed limiters by 2022.
The controversial rule was approved back in March but was rubber-stamped by the European Council last week.
And while it’s yet to be confirmed for the UK, it’s very likely to be rolled out for Brits, because the Government has agreed to mirror EU road safety rules after Brexit .
The specifics of how the breathalysers work remain unclear. However, reports indicate the system could require drivers to carry out breath tests at random intervals, to ensure drunk drivers don’t just get a sober person to start their cary for them.
Meanwhile, new cars will also be fitted with ‘Intelligent Speed Assistance’ software, which can stop drivers from speeding.
The system uses GPS data and limits from local traffic cameras to automatically reduce the car’s speed if the driver is going over the limit.
The rule has been met with a mixed response, with some hailing the new technology, and others reacting with scepticism.
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at Brake, 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.”
Timo Harakka, of the European Council, said: “These new rules will help us to reduce significantly the number of fatalities and severe injuries.”
However, Edmund King, president at AA, warned that drivers shouldn’t rely solely on the technology while on the roads.
He said: “Drivers sticking religiously to the speed limit still face the threat of smartphone zombies and other unwary road users stepping out in front of them or drunk or distracted drivers crashing into them.
“Technology will play a part but drivers should not rely solely on computers and cameras to drive their cars for them. Until fully autonomous vehicles are on the roads, drivers must keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.”