18 October 2007
Australia’s leading vehicle safety consumer advocate – the Australasian New Car Assessment Program - has challenged Australia’s fleet managers to ensure safer Australian vehicles by pushing for 4 and 5 star vehicles when making fleet purchases.
Speaking at the Road Safety and Policing Conference in Melbourne today, ANCAP Chair Lauchlan McIntosh, called on fleet managers to pressure governments to ensure safer vehicle standards through the leverage they have as fleet buyers. More than 50% of Australian vehicles are fleet vehicles.
Mr McIntosh said such major purchasing power would certainly influence governments’ role in developing and maintaining vehicles standards.
“State governments have responsibility for safer drivers, federal and state governments have responsibility for safer roads - but clearly the federal government has the primary responsibility for safer cars,” Mr McIntosh said.
“With Mr Howard and Mr Rudd issuing daily challenges to each other, my challenge is issued to both; to declare where they stand on car safety, to commit to ANCAP and bring their Government in on this important road safety program”
“ANCAP has repeatedly lobbied the Federal Government for funding with limited success. This makes the Federal Government the odd-person out as all State governments contribute funding to ANCAP” he added.
“ANCAP is committed to the full systems approach to road safety - safer drivers in safer cars on safer roads.
“We want the fleet managers to use their considerable leverage through their purchasing power of these large vehicle fleets to ensure the latest vehicle safety features are available as standard on all vehicles.” Mr McIntosh also highlighted ANCAP’s Stars on Cars labelling program, which provides the vehicle’s safety rating at the point of sale.
“Recently, ANCAP launched its Stars on Cars initiative to provide this potentially life-saving information that should be available to new car buyers when they are making such an important purchasing decision,” Mr McIntosh said.
“This follows the decision by United States Government to mandate the placing of these safety rating labels on all new cars from 1 September. Unfortunately, both the current and alternative Australian government have not shown any real
interest in ensuring safer cars on Australian roads.
“Last year, the Federal Government asked all manufacturers to put a label at the filler pipe on all new cars sold to whether an ethanol blended fuel could be used - surely it’s not a big step to add the relative safety on the environmental label at
point of sale.
“At ANCAP, we have asked the manufacturers to put safety rating labels on all four and five star rated cars on a voluntary basis.
“If it is OK in the US, then it should be OK here - and hopefully in Australia we can demonstrate that regulation is unnecessary to educate consumers about protection levels.”