The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) will increase its minimum criteria for 1, 2, and 3-Star rated cars, which will become a requirement from 2017.
Described as a push to encourage improved safety in new cars, the news comes ahead of an expected onslaught of new models from China's Geely, Great Wall, SAIC and Chery, along with new offerings from Malaysia's Proton.
Developed together with the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries and New Zealand's Motor Industry Association, ANCAP's 2017 Road Map includes seatbelt reminders in front-row seats for 1, 2 and 3-Star ratings.
The road map also calls for new minimum scores for roof strength to achieve a 3-Star rating (from 2014), pedestrian safety for 1 and 2-Star ratings, and whiplash protection for 1 and 2-Star ratings.
The minimum number of additional Safety Assist Technologies for 1, 2, 3 and 4-Star ratings will also increase from 2017, and light commercial vehicles across all star ratings will require top tether anchorages.
“Vehicle safety is a crucial element in reducing the unnecessary loss of life on our roads, and with a combined road toll of 1600 across Australia and New Zealand last year, we mustn’t become complacent," ANCAP Chair Lauchlan McIntosh said.
“The development of vehicle safety systems is moving forward at a rapid pace and ANCAP is moving just as fast by ensuring manufacturers continue to include, and progressively increase these life-saving technologies into their builds,” he added.
Full details of the 2017 Road Map can be found here (PDF file - left-click to open in browser, right-click to save).