Attention motorists! 2022 is a year that will bring significant change to Spanish roads, and one of these may well have an important impact on the way you drive. The main focus of the DGT’s (Dirección General de Tráfico ) efforts this year are to significantly reduce the number of accidents and deaths on Spanish roads this year: and a main cause of these accidents and deaths is excess speed. As a result, a new rule is set to be introduced which states that all new European cars must be equipped, as standard, with a speed assistant device. Here’s everything you need to know about this change, and how it will affect you:
What Are the New Requirements?
From this year, all new vehicles which are sold manufactured within Europe must be installed with a speed assistant device. This device is perhaps better known as an ISA system, and its purpose is to ensure drivers keep to the speed limits by preventing the vehicle from exceeding the legal speed limit on each road. The aim of the device is to prevent road accidents by ensuring that legal speed limits are never exceeded: the assistant will ensure that the car automatically abides by the maximum speed limits on each section of road travelled on, meaning that the maximum speed will change as the speed indicated on the road signs changes.
How Does an ISA System Work?
The ISA system is a very clever piece of kit, and once that works by utilising a camera that is attached (or built-in) to your rear-view mirror. The role of the camera is to detect road signs and it will then transfer the speed limits dictated by those road signs to your car’s GPS system. Your GPS will then notify you if you are driving too fast, by exceeding the speed limit.
The role of the ISA system actually goes further than this: if you continue to exceed the speed limit, even after you have been alerted that you are doing so, then the ISA system will slow your vehicle down. It doesn’t do this by forcing your car to brake (which could pose a danger to other cars on the road) but by adjusting the revolutions of the engine to ensure that the constant speed of the car is gradually reduced to the legal speed limit for the road.
Can I Turn off the ISA System?
Yes, you can. The system can very easily be disconnected by the driver of the vehicle by using the off button or by tapping the accelerator in order to override the ISA system completely. However, if you choose to override the ISA system, or not use it at all, you are still required to have this system installed in your vehicle and you are still legally obligated to abide by all speed limits and other Spanish road safety regulations.
What Setting Does the System Have?
When learning to use your new ISA system, you will have three different options to choose from, with each offering a differing level of involvement in the way that you operate your vehicle. The three levels are:
- Informational: An alert of signal will inform you when you breach the speed limit
- Warning: The informational signs will be maintained and light pressure will be added to the accelerator pedal if you are exceeding the speed limit. .
- Mandatory: This is the highest level of operational involvement and will prevent the car from exceeding the speed limit. All other controls of the car will be unaffected, and you can continue to accelerate if you override the system by doing so forcefully.
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