16 May 2024
The voice of the independent garage sector

A trick of the tail-gate?

On 6 July 2022, a new ruling meant that all new cars in Europe and Northern Ireland were required by law to have anti-tailgating technology fitted as standard. Even though it has been a year since this came into force, there has been nothing from the UK government to replicate this legislation, even though research carried out shows that it could prevent 12,300 casualties and 110 deaths on UK roads.
Although the government has still not decided if the issue will be mandatory, we know that manufacturers have and will continue to add these systems to new vehicle models sold in the UK because according to Thatcham Research, “automatic braking would also be required in the UK for car manufacturers to secure top safety ratings under the Europe wide assessment, Euro NCAP, to which the UK is signed up”. In addition, adding this system as standard ensures the carmakers are not seen as unsafe in the eyes of the industry as well as the end consumer.
Anti-tailgating technology is an asset to drivers because it uses systems already on the vehicle (RADAR and cameras) to detect hazards on the road. Once a hazard is detected, the car’s systems spring into action by slowing or stopping the vehicle if the driver does not respond to the alarm that highlights the car is too close to the vehicle in front.
This, in turn, would theoretically reduce the risk of tailgating, which is a careless driving offence and, if caught, you could face a £100 fine and three penalty points, because the driver would be advised well in advance that the car is heading towards tailgating the vehicle in front. This would then force the driver either to reduce speed manually to increase the gap or if not, the car would do it automatically.
For repairers, the addition of these systems as standard will open new sales avenues for their shops. This means it is more important than ever that they have the necessary products and skills to complete right-first-time calibrations. Repairify has a range of systems, services and training options to help meet this need.
Anti-tailgating technology is here to stay but the UK government must ensure it is put into law because it is the biggest step forward in safety technology since the introduction of seatbelts. In addition, the technology will be an asset to drivers, but they will still need to be aware of their surroundings when out driving and not just rely on the technology.