Federal Government mandates new life saving technology
The Hon Anthony Albanese MP
The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,
Regional Development and Local Government
Leader of the House
Member for Grayndler
23 June 2009
All new models of cars, passenger vans and off-road vehicles sold in Australia will soon be fitted with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), technology with the potential to reduce a motorist’s chances of being involved in a fatal accident by 25 per cent.
I have now signed into law new regulations requiring this life saving technology to be fitted to all new models of passenger vehicles from November 2011 and all models from November 2013.
ESC is a computer-based system that helps drivers maintain control of their vehicles, particularly in adverse conditions such as wet weather. It continuously monitors a vehicle’s speed, steering wheel angle, direction of travel and cornering acceleration, automatically applying individual brakes if there is a risk of skidding or overturning.
Research both here and overseas has found this innovative technology has the potential to save lives and make our roads significantly safer. Research undertaken for the British Government found vehicles equipped with ESC are 25 per cent less likely to be involved in a fatal accident than those without it.
The new regulations mandating ESC brings Australia into line with international standards. In fact, we are fully phasing in ESC one year ahead of Europe.
Already many Australians appreciate the safety benefits of ESC, with around two thirds of the new cars and 4WDs sold in March fitted with the technology – up from 20 per cent in June 2006.
What’s more, a growing number of manufacturers are voluntarily responding to the needs of the marketplace and including ESC as a standard feature in their latest models.
The case for mandating ESC was established through the public consultations that accompanied the release late last year of a Regulatory Impact Statement.
Australian Design Rules for Road Vehicles and Electronic Stability Control
- Australian Design Rules (ADRs) are national standards for vehicle safety, anti-theft and emissions. The standards apply to vehicles newly manufactured in Australia or imported as new or second hand vehicles, and supplied to the Australian market.
- ADRs are signed into law by the responsible Commonwealth Minister following a consultative process involving government, industry, employee and consumer representatives and the opportunity for the public to provide comment.
- Australian Design Rules (ADRs) now require Electronic Stability Control (ESC) to be phased-in to all newly approved passenger car, passenger van and four-wheel drive passenger models starting from November 2011.
- ESC is a technology that continuously monitors a vehicle’s speed, steering wheel angle, direction of travel and cornering acceleration.
- If the vehicle is at risk of skidding or overturning, the system automatically applies individual brakes to correct any deviation from the direction the driver wants to go.
- Australian and international research has found this innovative technology to have major potential to save lives and make our roads significantly safer.
- The signing follows Australia’s vote in June 2008, along with other members of the World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Standards, to adopt a new United Nations Global technical regulation on ESC systems.
- While the new ADRs are aligned with the related international regulations, their final phase-in date of November 2013 for all remaining models will be one year ahead of Europe’s.
- In November 2008, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government invited public comment on a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) for the Control of Vehicle Stability.
- The new ADRs were the result of this and followed a careful weighing up of the views of all interested parties, including the state and territory governments and the automotive industry.
- The safety benefits of ESC are already appreciated by many Australians, with over 65 per cent of the new cars and 4WDs sold in March fitted with the technology.
- A growing number of manufacturers are voluntarily responding to the needs of the marketplace and including ESC as a standard feature in their latest models. Even so, it was found that mandating ESC could save another 128 lives and avoid many other injuries and associated costs over the next thirty years.