06 Feb 2023

Vehicle safety continues to play an integral role in improving road safety.

Independent vehicle safety advocate, ANCAP SAFETY, has today welcomed the Australian Government’s release of its national road safety road map - the National Road Safety Action Plan 2023-2025 - which will help focus government, industry and community efforts to improve road safety and reduce road trauma over the next three years.

The overarching National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) places ‘Vehicle Safety’ as a cornerstone to road safety improvement – acknowledged as one of priority areas the Australian Government and all state and territory governments will focus their efforts towards achieving zero deaths and serious injuries by 2050.

Encouraging the prioritisation and proliferation of technology-based vehicle safety features, and encouraging consumer and fleet uptake of newer and inherently safer vehicles, are clear action areas identified in the NRSS and Action Plan, and supported by ANCAP. The Action Plan will also pursue targets for five star ANCAP rated vehicles with a datestamp of no more than six years, to encourage ongoing improvement in vehicle design and market supply of current five star vehicles.

“There’s no doubt that safety enhancements in light vehicles over the past decade have demonstrably improved road safety, with the average risk of death or serious injury in a crash to the driver of a vehicle manufactured in 2019 being 25% less than that of a driver in a vehicle manufactured in 2010*. The road fatality rate has also dropped from 6.1 to 4.6 per 100,000 population^,” said ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, Carla Hoorweg.

“The actions identified in the new National Road Safety Action Plan underscore the vital, highly influential and continuing role ANCAP plays in encouraging market change through a non-regulatory process,” Ms Hoorweg added.

“The Australian Government’s ongoing commitment to ANCAP as outlined in this latest Action Plan will provide Australian consumers and fleet operators with reassurance that only the safest vehicles will be supplied to our shores.”

Currently 92% of all passenger vehicles, SUVs and light commercial vehicles sold are covered by an ANCAP rating, with 87% reaching the five star standard.

“Over the coming years, we will no doubt see further significant change in the vehicle safety landscape and ANCAP will continue to evolve and grow to ensure the broader vehicle fleet is equipped with the latest safety technologies. The objectives outlined in the Strategy and Action Plan should see a positive change in the number of lives lost and serious injuries sustained,” Ms Hoorweg added.

“In order for the Australian Government to meet its targets it will be necessary to bring down the average age of the Australian vehicle fleet. If we are to see a dramatic shift of the needle with road-related trauma, it means not only working across government, industry, business and the community to develop policies and incentives to encourage the purchase of new five star vehicles, it means removing the older and less safe vehicles from our roads.”

The focus of the NRSS aligns with ANCAP’s own strategic objectives to maintain influence and adapt to new trends across the new vehicle market, and broaden its advocacy as the non-regulatory voice on vehicle safety to encourage safer vehicles and purchasing decisions among other vehicle types.

A copy of the National Road Safety Action Plan 2023-2025 can be viewed at: www.roadsafety.gov.au

^ BITRE Road Safety Statistics, December 2022, https://bitre.gov.au/statistics/safety
* MUARC analysis, Monitoring Trends by Vehicle Year of Manufacture, 2021

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