Australian motorists can expect better protection in the future, thanks to the introduction of a new side-impact protection standard as part of the Australian Design Rule set.
To take effect from November 2017, the new ADR is based upon the United Nations Global Technical Regulation 14 (GTR 14) which outlines strict minimum protection criteria for side impact strikes with narrow objects, such as poles.
The development of GTR 14 was carried out in Australia, the first time an international vehicle standard has been developed here, with side impact crashes representing a significant proportion of Australia’s road toll.
Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government announced the Australian introduction of the new standard, beginning on 1 November 2017 for light passenger vehicles, and 1 July 2018 for light commercials.
While other regions adopting the GTR 14 standard are set to announce a similar timeframe, Mr Fletcher was confident that Australia would be the first country to do so.
“It is pleasing that our country has led development of a new standard which will save lives not only in Australia but all around the world,” Mr Fletcher said.
The Minister produced some key figures on side impact crashes in Australia, including the expected potential of the new regulation to reduce severe injuries and deaths:
“Side impacts account for over 20 per cent of Australian road deaths and a disproportionately high number of brain injuries, which carry a huge social cost,” he said.
“It is estimated that this measure will save 128 lives and avoid 195 severe or moderate brain injuries over 15 years, while providing net benefits to the community of $417 million.”
ANCAP has also welcomed the move as a positive measure in helping to lower Australia’s road toll.
“This is a welcome development that will lift vehicle safety standards and go a long way to helping save hundreds of lives,” ANCAP CEO Mr James Goodwin said.
“Australia should be proud of its international leadership to develop this global regulation which will improve occupant protection in side impact crashes such as hitting a tree at the side of the road,” Mr Goodwin said.
Other regions involved in the United Nations Global Technical Regulation include the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany, Canada and China.