The European Commission in June 2001 adopted a report on the effect of using speed limiters on heavy vehicles, following the compulsory introduction in the EU in 1992 of speed limiters on all lorries over 12 tonnes, and buses over 10 tonnes, registered since 1988. Lorries are limited to a maximum speed of 90 km/h and buses to 100 km/h.
The Commission report examines the effects of using the speed limiters and concludes that there is substantial evidence of improvements in both road safety and pollution. As a result, the Commission proposes that the legislation should be extended to cover all buses and large vans (COM(2001)318final). That means that all passenger vehicles with more than 8 passenger seats and all goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes would have to be fitted with speed-limiting devices. The net financial benefit of installation on large vans alone is estimated at €3 billion in the European Union. This takes into account the cost of installation, and the benefits derived from reduced emissions, noise, fuel costs and tyre wear, and fewer and less severe accidents. Reduced fuel consumption will also contribute to curb the growth of CO2 emissions from freight transport.