03 Jun 2013

Calls for new wave of reform to reduce road trauma

ANCAP welcomes the views expressed in the Federal Parliament last night by Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Roads and Regional Transport, Mr Darren Chester MP, which called for renewed energy and enthusiasm to lower the road toll.

Mr Chester expressed a fear of complacency, acceptance and resignation that people will always die or be seriously injured on our roads.

With the annual cost of road trauma in the order of $27 billion with 25 lives lost and 600 people being seriously injured each week, Mr Chester gave his support for a more holistic approach from governments adding that there is a compelling argument that road trauma should be regarded as the highest-ranked public health issue facing the country.

“Road trauma affects all of us and is an enormous burden on our community. Reducing this burden should be a first order priority for governments, business and private consumers. A move to a more holistic approach to road safety would be welcome,” said ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, Mr Nicholas Clarke.

Mr Chester also expressed a view that vehicles sold in Australia should comply with minimum ANCAP safety ratings - prospectively no less than 4 stars - and for manufacturers to provide new safety features to Australian consumers at the same pace as in other countries.

Referring to the minimum 5 star ANCAP safety rating fleet purchasing policy adopted by the Australian Government in 2011, Mr Chester pointed out that if the Government sets a 5 star ANCAP safety rating standard for its own employees, then it should require that all cars for all people meet this same standard.

"In the period 2007-2011, there was a 21% reduction in deaths on Australian roads - some of this reduction inevitably will be due to safer cars. If we are to achieve another similar big reduction in road trauma then it is vital that Australia maintains pace with developments in new safety assist technology. These technologies are already demonstrating significant effectiveness in other countries,” said Mr Clarke.

“We already have cars on the market today that are not equipped with the same level of safety assist technology as that included in the same car in other markets,” he said.

ANCAP supports the call for faster introduction of these life-saving technologies in Australia.

A copy of Mr Chester's speech to Parliament can be found here.

ANCAP is supported by all Australian and New Zealand motoring clubs, the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government, Australian state and territory governments, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, NRMA Insurance and the FIA Foundation.

Media Contact
Nicholas Clarke
Chief Executive Officer
+61 2 6232 0232