Need for Uniform Vehicle Safety Standards
Australia’s peak motoring body, the Australian Automobile Association, has called for uniform vehicle safety standards across Australia in light of a Victorian report calling for greater government involvement to improve vehicle safety.
The Australian Automobile Association and constituent motoring organisations believe there should be national standards for all Australian vehicles and called on the Federal Government to take a leading role in developing those standards.
The call for improved vehicle safety standards was made in a Victorian Parliamentary Road Safety Committee report released this week.
AAA Executive Director, Mike Harris, said the Victorian report highlighted a number of areas around vehicle safety that could be improved in the interests of Australian motorists and all road users, including harmonised international vehicle safety standards, continued promotion of ESC and information on child restraint systems.
“AAA supports the consideration of vehicle safety initiatives recommended by the Victorian Parliamentary Enquiry into Vehicle Safety and urges the Federal Government to play a leading role in the development of design regulations and standards,” Mr Harris said.
“This report proposes a number of recommendations around safer design and regulation, and we would urge the Commonwealth to be involved rather than leaving it to individual states and territories to introduce their own safety standards.
“Issues as important as safer vehicles – with the potential to save thousands of lives and dramatically reduce road trauma, costing the Australian economy some $17 billion a year – should not be left to the states to introduce their own standards.
“This requires a uniform national approach rather than allowing disparate rules and regulations to be introduced across differing jurisdictions. For example, technology-based safety systems such as Intelligent Speed Assist, which rely upon electronic maps and transponders, need to be compatible across all states, so that motorists continue to receive the safety benefits when they drive across borders.”
Mr Harris called on the Federal Government to not only ensure consistent standards, but also to use its leverage as a massive fleet vehicle purchaser to force improvements to road safety.
“Governments at the local, state and federal levels can certainly use their purchasing power to ensure important safety features are included as standard. It not only ensures a safer fleet for government employees, it also ensures that manufacturers will include these features on their new cars for the public to buy.”