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Australian Road Safety Groups Look To The Future On Pedestrian Safety Photo:
Trevor Collett | May, 08 2013 | 1 Comment

Three of Australia’s leading road safety organisations joined together yesterday to conduct a demonstration of pedestrian safety technology in Adelaide.

University of Adelaide’s Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR), the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) and the Australasian College of Road Safety (ACRS) all took part in the demonstration.

The event was designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of new technologies in warning motorists of potential collisions, and intervening to prevent an accident.

The University of Adelaide’s Associate Professor Robert Anderson (also CASR Deputy Director) says CASR has long been conducting research focused on the safety of pedestrians and other road users.

“For over a decade, this has included testing vehicle designs for their ability to protect pedestrians and cyclists - data we provide to ANCAP to inform their car safety rating program,” Associate Professor Anderson said.

“It’s clear that our combined efforts will continue to prevent many deaths and injuries across Australia for many years into the future.”

Associate Professor Anderson pointed to Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) as a key technical advancement in pedestrian safety, adding that CASR were currently looking at ways to test AEB and other advancements to rate their effectiveness.

ANCAP CEO Nicholas Clarke said advancements in vehicle safety technology could have a major impact on the road toll.

“The fast adoption of new technologies like AEB could see the road toll cut in half by 2020,” Mr Clarke said.

“Real-world data suggests AEB can reduce crashes by up to 27% and ANCAP would like to see this life-saving technology become a mandatory requirement for all new vehicles sold in our region."

Statistics show that pedestrian road-related deaths comprise about 13 percent of Australia's annual road toll, or approximately 180 lives. Globally, this figure is around 25% or 270,000 lives.

Yesterday’s demonstration formed part of the United Nations' Global Road Safety Week. For 2013, the UN's “Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020” is focusing on pedestrian safety.

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