Stickers showing the safety star rating of new vehicles will soon feature on cars in Western Australian dealerships as part of a new road safety initiative. The Stars on Cars pilot will see tags or stickers placed on vehicle windscreens, identifying the safety rating of each of the vehicles in the dealership showroom.
Launched by Community Safety Minister John Kobelke at the 2008 Road Safety Council and RAC Safer Vehicles Expo, the stickers will be based on the Australasian New Car Safety Assessment Program (ANCAP) ratings and will be similar to the energy star rating on household whitegoods.
“Most Australians believe if they buy a new vehicle, it has to be safe, yet they often don’t recognise that some vehicles offer better protection and more safety features than others, and not all cost more,” Mr Kobelke said.
“Although we are all fallible and can make bad decisions, this shouldn’t result in serious injury and loss of life.
“This is why the Road Safety Council and RAC’s joint initiative to promote safer vehicles is so important.”
The Minister said if people bought the safest car in their desired class, overall safety across Australia could improve by an estimated 26 per cent.
“If all new cars had the equivalent safety features as the safest vehicle in its class, then death and serious injury could be reduced by up to 40 per cent,” he said.
“Single vehicle run-off road crashes account for nearly 80 per cent of all fatalities in rural Western Australia, but if Electronic Stability Control systems were available in all vehicles, up to 19 lives in WA could be saved, based upon European estimates.
“More than a third of all people killed on our roads last year were not wearing a seatbelt and yet research has shown that approved in-vehicle advanced seatbelt reminder systems have the potential to achieve seatbelt wearing rates of 99 per cent for drivers.
“If more consumers including private buyers, Government and private fleet operators, bought ANCAP-tested cars with four or five safety stars, not only would lives be saved and the number of serious injuries significantly reduced, we would also see manufacturers becoming obliged to include more vehicle safety features to achieve higher star ratings.”
The WA Government promotes safe vehicles through a joint RAC and Road Safety Council Safe Vehicles program and recently joined other States in urging the Federal Government to expedite work on vehicle standards to require improved safety technologies be fitted to new passenger vehicles.
“It is time consumers became smarter about choosing their vehicles based on safety ratings and it is time for all dealers and manufacturers to recognise the shifting consumer trend,” the Minister said.
“While all new vehicles meet minimum standards, it’s not true that all vehicles are as safe as the next.”
The pilot will include 12 WA new car dealerships. Information on safer vehicles and participating dealers is available at http://www.officeofroadsafety.wa.gov.au
Minister's Office - 9222 9211