Road Safety Strategy
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Vehicles

Improvements in vehicle safety and the inclusion of advanced safety technologies are helping drivers to avoid crashes and also help to reduce the injuries suffered by vehicle occupants and other road users when a crash occurs. Vehicle technology is developing at a rapid rate, and advanced safety technologies are now commonly available in new vehicles. According to the Australian and New Zealand Driverless Vehicle Initiative, 90% of all crashes could be eliminated through advanced driverless vehicle technology.23

A Monash University Accident Research Centre study reveals a potential 33% reduction in road trauma if all Australians were able to travel in the safest vehicles possible.24 International research also indicates that single vehicle crashes can be reduced by 35% in light vehicles and 67% in four-wheel drive and sports utility vehicles fitted with Electronic Stability Control.25

We will all benefit from these improvements as newer, safer vehicles progressively replace older vehicles on our roads.

The South Australian Government will further promote the use and uptake of the safest vehicles across government and business fleets. This has flow-on benefits into the community, as a significant proportion of privately-owned vehicles on our roads are first registered to government or business fleets.

Cost may be a barrier to purchasing a new vehicle with the latest safety technology. Increased consumer awareness and education is needed regarding ‘used car safety ratings’, ‘thinking about the safest vehicle you can afford’ when purchasing a second hand vehicle and the safest vehicle that may be available for use for the journey or purpose of travel.

Vehicles affected by compulsory airbag recalls have had registration sanctions applied to them in the interests of road safety. This process has proved successful in rectifying or removing vehicles fitted with defective airbags from South Australian roads.

Similar registration sanctions may be considered should further compulsory vehicle recalls arise under legislation, meaning any safety issue or non-compliance with road vehicle standards in relation to a road vehicle or road vehicle component is resolved in a timely and effective manner.

Some feedback received highlighted the issue of vehicle maintenance. We will investigate whether a light vehicle inspection scheme could improve road safety outcomes, and how often inspections would be required to provide a cost-effective safety outcome.

Key strategies for normalising the use of safe vehicles in South Australia

  1. The South Australian Government demonstrating a leadership role through:
    • continuing to demonstrate across government leasing/purchasing policies for the safest vehicles that are fit for purpose;
    • work related travel policies that consider ‘vehicles as a workplace’; and
    • supply of safer second-hand vehicles through fleet sales.
  2. More strongly promoting safer vehicles and increased consumer awareness, including ‘thinking about the safest vehicle that you can afford’;
  3. Promote the benefit and use of advanced vehicle safety technologies through public awareness and education;
  4. Continue to trial automated vehicle technologies to increase acceptance and awareness of public benefit;
  5. Enable the safe deployment of automated vehicles on our roads;
  6. Influencing the rate of uptake of safer vehicles in regional areas, and with the older and younger demographic. Investigate incentives for younger and older drivers to encourage the move to safer vehicles;
  7. Investigate options to promote the purchase or lease of the highest ANCAP star rated vehicles for business fleet;
  8. Continue registration sanctions against vehicles that are unsafe to be driven on the road network, due to a safety recall;
  9. Investigate the costs and benefits of introducing a light vehicle inspection scheme to improve the safety of older vehicles; and
  10. Continue to work nationally in partnership with ANCAP and the Commonwealth Government to influence the Australian Design Rules and ANCAP Star ratings.