The Earl of Lindsay
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether, in the light of the recent disclosure that the speed limiter system had been disconnected on the vehicle involved in the serious M.2 coach accident, the current requirement for a visual examination, where practical, of a vehicle's speed limiter system during the annual roadworthiness check for coaches and goods vehicles is sufficient; whether, in the interests of safety, a requirement for a periodic functional test of such systems will be introduced; and if so, when.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish)
It is impractical to make a functional check at the present time, but we hope that diagnostic systems will soon be developed which will enable enforcement officers to check speed limiter setting and function routinely both at annual roadworthiness and other enforcement checks.
In the meantime vehicle examiners from the department's vehicle inspectorate will continue to check systems visually to ensure that the appropriate connections are in place and that the system has not been tampered with. In future the inspectorate will also be taking account of other sources of information—such as the details recorded on tachograph charts—to determine whether or not a speed limiter is functioning correctly.
Vehicle operators and drivers face severe penalties if they adjust the setting of a speed limiter or otherwise interfere with its operation.