New Australian Design Rule announced to improve side impact protection
The Australian Government has passed into law a new Australian Design Rule (ADR) setting performance criteria for side impact protection.
The Australian Government has passed into law a new Australian Design Rule setting “strict” performance criteria for light passenger and commercial vehicles for side impact protection. This new ADR follows the development of an international standard for side impact crashes and will come into force in November 2017.
Minister for Major Projects Paul Fletcher signed off on the new ADR this week.
“This ADR is based on United Nations Global Technical Regulation (GTR) 14, which sets strict performance criteria for light passenger (2017) and commercial vehicles (2018) in side impacts with a narrow object such as a pole. However, it will also improve occupant protection in other side impacts, including car- to-car impacts,” Mr Fletcher said.
“Side impacts account for over 20% of Australian road deaths and a disproportionately high number of brain injuries, which carry a huge social cost. The new ADR is a major road safety initiative aimed at addressing this issue by setting performance criteria that require effective safety measures such as curtain side airbags, thorax airbags and better crash sensors.
“It is estimated that this measure will save 128 lives and avoid 195 severe or moderate brain injuries over 15 years, while providing net benefits to the community of $417 million.”
Mr Fletcher noted that Australia had led the development of GTR 14—the first time Australia has led development of an international vehicle standard—because of the significance of side impact crashes in the Australian road toll.
“GTR 14 is the first vehicle standard in the world that makes use of the World Side Impact Dummy (WorldSID), the most advanced crash dummy available. WorldSID closely mimics the behaviour of the human body, ensuring that the new ADR will deliver real-world benefits,” Mr Fletcher said.
“The new ADR—Pole Side Impact Performance—will commence for new model light passenger vehicles on 1 November 2017 and for new model light commercial vehicles on 1 July 2018.”
Mr Fletcher said that while this timetable was consistent with the expected timetable for implementation of GTR 14 in other parts of the world such as Japan and Europe, he believed Australia would be the first country to implement the standard, reflecting the importance of the issue to Australia.
“It is pleasing that our country has led development of a new standard which will save lives not only in Australia but all around the world,” Mr Fletcher said.
ANCAP CEO James Goodwin has welcomed the announcement of the new Design Rule. “This is a welcome development that will lift vehicle safety standards and go a long way to helping save hundreds of lives,” ANCAP CEO Mr James Goodwin said.
“Australia should be proud of its international leadership to develop this global regulation which will improve occupant protection in side impact crashes such as hitting a tree at the side of the road,” Mr Goodwin said.