All new cars in France will soon ‘beep’ at you if you speed

From July 2024, new vehicles must have anti-speeding measures such as beeping or flashing alerts

The new regulations are part of the European Union’s ‘zero road deaths by 2050’ aim

New cars in France will soon be required to have extra features designed to limit speeding, such as a beeping sound or more resistance in the accelerator, as a new European regulation comes into force.

The new measures will be required for “all new vehicles placed on the market and registered for the first time” from this summer (July 2024), states the 2019 European regulation on the “Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA)”.

These systems must help drivers to comply with speed limits and reduce the risk of accidents, the regulation states. 

Read also: How to keep track of changing speed limits on French secondary roads 
Read also: Why has speed limit changed to 30km/h near my French home? 

How does the system work?

The speed-limiting systems work either by using onboard cameras to detect speed limit road signs, or using speed data stored in the car’s GPS. 

It then compares the car’s maximum speed with this limit, and the measures are activated if the vehicle is found to be going over the limit for the traffic lane in question.

The system may then introduce measures such as: 

  • Audible signal, such as constant beeping or a voice

  • Flashing lights and/or alert on the dashboard

  • A hardening or vibration of the accelerator pedal

Driver action still needed 

The system will usually stop short of actually limiting the car’s speed itself, and the driver will still be required to take action in order to stop the system (however, some systems could harden the accelerator pedal to the point where the car effectively slows down automatically).

The regulation leaves the specific measures to the vehicle manufacturers, who are free - within reason and other regulations - to decide their own systems.

For example, French manufacturer Peugeot has already said that its system will include an audible and visual signal, but not any changes to the accelerator pedal. These measures have been in place on its 508 model since April 2023. 

Swedish company Volvo explains on its website that its system includes a flashing speed limit icon and the option to activate an audible warning or accelerator pedal change.

The regulation allows the driver to override the system if required. Drivers can push harder on the accelerator to overcome the pedal changes, and they can choose to ignore warning signs or audible signals.

Drivers can also choose to deactivate the speed limit system each time they start the vehicle. 

However, they will of course still be subject to speed limits, and the consequences of speeding whether the measures are on or not, or if they choose to ignore the signs when they are activated.

The speed limit measures come as European regulations are also set to require new cars sold in France to have a camera installed to monitor if the driver is distracted or sleepy.

Read also: New cars in France must soon have camera to see if driver distracted 

The car camera will identify if drivers look at the in-vehicle screen (or away from the road) for too long - longer than 3.5 seconds at speeds of 50 km/h or more, or longer than 6 seconds at speeds of 20-50 km/h.

The camera will work both day and night no matter what a driver may be wearing over their eyes (such as a cap, sunglasses etc).

The new system will be required in all new vehicles from July 7, 2024, under new European regulation known as ‘GSR2 (General Safety Regulation 2)’, specifically the Réglement délégué (UE) 2023/2590.

The new regulations are part of the European Union’s ‘zero road deaths by 2050’ aim.