Sep 16, 2009

New truck safety rule to save lives

New truck safety rule to save lives

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

September 16 2009

Today I have signed into law a new, mandatory vehicle design rule which will save lives and prevent serious injuries on the nation’s roads.

The new Australian Design Rule (ADR) requires Front Underrun Protection Systems (FUPS) to be fitted to the front of all new models of heavy vehicles (over 12 tonnes) from January 2011 and to all existing models from January 2012.

FUPS prevents the car from becoming trapped under the front of the truck in the unfortunate event of a collision between the two, thereby ensuring the car’s safety features such as seatbelts, airbags and crumple zones remain fully effective.

Each year in Australia around 30 people are killed in ‘underrun’ crashes, with most of these victims being the occupants of the cars involved.

The new ADR (84) was the result of a Regulatory Impact Statement process which carefully weighing up of the views of all interested parties, including state and territory governments as well as the heavy vehicle industry.

The Government’s actions bring Australia into line with international standards.

A video of a heavy vehicle underrun protection crash test with a passenger vehicle in a controlled environment is available on request by emailing: [email protected]

Attached is further information about Australian Design Rule 84.

BACKGROUND: ADR for Road Vehicles and Front Underrun Protection

  • 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 Rule (ADR) 84/00 Front Underrun Impact Protection now requires Front Underrun Protection (FUP) systems on new model rigid and articulated heavy goods vehicles (new models of trucks more than 12 tonnes from January 2011and all remaining models of trucks more than 12 tonnes from January 2012). Trucks more than 4.5 tonnes and up to 12 tonnes may optionally be certified to the ADR, to take advantage of any state or territory concessional schemes for vehicles with front underrun protection.
  • FUP involves an impact barrier of prescribed strength and dimensions that catches or deflects a light vehicle during a collision to stop it sliding under a heavy truck. It can either be built in to the structure of the truck, or added on – in some cases replacing the function of a bull bar at the same time.
  • By catching or deflecting the light vehicle, its occupant protection systems are then able to work effectively, mitigating injury to the light vehicle occupants.
  • The international regulation (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe – UNECE – R 93) that the ADR is based on has been adopted in Europe. It will be adopted by Japan in 2012. It has not been adopted by the United States.
  • In 2007, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government invited public comment on a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) for Underrun Protection. A draft ADR was then developed that took into account local requirements.
  • It is estimated that FUP will provide benefits of over $20 million a year (including lives saved and injuries reduced and averted), once fully implemented.