Need for speed? Why vehicles capable of driving faster than legal speed limits should be banned

Thomas Søbirk Petersen, Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Speeding is a major cause of avoidable deaths and serious injuries. In this article, we defend the view that, with few exceptions, vehicles should be required by law to have a limited intelligent speed assistant (LISA) fitted, making it impossible to exceed speed limits. Our core argument appeals to the four-element Principle of Required Prohibition: if (1) through suitable legal regulation of design and production, the state can significantly reduce the harm users of a product P do to others through P’s illegal use without thereby causing comparable harms resulting from people not breaking the law; (2) that the relevant use of P ought to be illegal; (3) the regulation does not make any significant lawful use of P no longer possible; and (4) there is no other feasible and more efficient way of avoiding the relevant harm that users of P do others through P’s illegal use, then the state ought to regulate the design and production of P to significantly reduce the harm users of P do others through P’s illegal use. This principle, we argue, is extremely weak and should be acceptable across a wide range of ethical theories, yet it implies that the fitting of LISA to vehicles (but not police cars, ambulances etc.) should be mandatory by law. We defend the principle against five possible objections. For example, that the Principle of Required Prohibition is too interventionist and anti-libertarian. To counter that worry, we argue that principles that are even more interventionist are justifiable. Our conclusion is that the state should make it impossible for drivers to illegally violate speed limitations by making the installation of LISA on cars compulsory by law, just as the state, in many other ways, renders it impossible, or at any rate harder, for us to violate laws.
TidsskriftAI and Ethics
Sider (fra-til)529-536
Antal sider2
StatusUdgivet - 10 maj 2024


  • AI and driving
  • Ethics of legal regulation
  • Limited intelligent speed assistant (LISA)
  • Speed limits
  • Risk imposition
  • Traffic

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