Independent crash-testing authority, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), has voiced its support for the Federal Government’s inquiry into the effectiveness of the National Road Safety Strategy as part of the 2017-18 Budget.
The strategy aims to reduce road deaths and trauma on Australian roads by at least 30 per cent between 2011 and 2020. However, the road toll has increased in recent years. Between March 2016 and March 2017, 1240 people lost their lives on our roads – 111 more than the same period two years ago.
ANCAP believes more attention needs to be placed on vehicle safety, in particular that of Australia’s ageing fleet.
“New vehicles entering the Australian fleet are the safest they’ve ever been, but we must also consider the entire vehicle fleet,” said James Goodwin, CEO of ANCAP.
“Analysis shows that the average age of a car on the road is 9.8 years yet the average age of a vehicle involved in a fatal crash is 12.9 years. In just one year, this has increased from an average of 12.5 years so it’s clear we must also consider the older vehicles in the fleet as a means to improve road safety.”
“Modern safety technologies will also play a vital role in reducing road trauma and ANCAP’s current focus is to resource local capability to test and assess these new and emerging technologies to ensure increased safety benefits are realised,” he added.
As part of its $12 billion ‘Towards Zero Action Plan’, Victoria’s Labor government has begun to rollout several initiatives to improve road safety such as flexible roadside barriers on country highways, and a crackdown on drug driving – identified as a major factor in 2016’s rise in road deaths.