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Report on performance

Outcome 2-Transport Outputs and Programs

Output 2.3.2-Road safety and vehicle policy, programs and regulation

Highlights

In 2007-08, the Department arranged for Australia's accession to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's 1998 Global Agreement. This will allow Australia to play a greater role in the development of internationally harmonised vehicle design standards. Adoption of these standards in Australia will assist the automotive industry by reducing the number of tests required to market vehicles around the world.

The Department also convened the national Motorcycle and Scooter Safety Summit in April 2008. This two-day event brought together over 100 delegates from community, industry, research and government organisations to discuss a wide range of strategic motorcycle safety issues.

Three major statistical reports on serious injury due to transport accidents were produced by the Department, in cooperation with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

An updated edition of A Simple Guide to Child Restraints, a comprehensive consumer information booklet on the selection and use of child restraints in passenger vehicles, was published.

Overview

Output 2.3.2 is delivered by the Infrastructure and Surface Transport Policy (ISTP) business division.

Under this output, ISTP:

  • provides the technical and administrative framework to enable assurance that all road vehicles meet appropriate safety, emissions, anti-theft and environmental standards when first supplied to the Australian market;
  • participates in international vehicle standards forums and research programs;
  • coordinates the National Road Safety Strategy 2001-10 and associated two-year action plans; and
  • undertakes research, collects and analyses statistics and provides a range of safety publications and reports.

In 2007-08, the output administered two programs:

  • keys2drive; and
  • Seatbelts on regional school buses.

Output 2.3.2 corresponds to the vehicle safety standard and road safety aspects of Output 1.1.2 of the previous outcome and output structure (see Appendix L for a comparison between the current and previous structures).

Table 4.20 summarises the output's performance in 2007-08.

Summary of performance

Table 4.20 Summary of performance - Output 2.3.2 - Road safety and vehicle policy, programs and regulation

Performance indicators Results
Effectiveness

Stakeholders are assisted to evaluate and improve transport safety interventions and outcomes.

The Department began a comprehensive review of national road safety progress and priorities, and commenced work on the development of the National Road Safety Action Plan 2009 and 2010. It also coordinated scoping work for the development of the next national road safety strategy. The current strategy will finish in 2010.

Stakeholders were also provided with a broad range of road safety research findings and road crash statistics.

The Department ensured that all road vehicles complied with appropriate safety, emission, anti-theft and environmental standards when first entering the Australian market.

Quality

A best practice novice driver program trial is implemented in New South Wales and Victoria.

Work continued on the development of an innovative, best-practice curriculum and arrangements for the research trial and evaluation of a program for new drivers.

National road death statistics and online database are updated within two weeks of the end of each month.

National statistics and the online database were updated monthly and 12 issues of Road Deaths Australia were published.

Statistical analyses and conclusions are accurate and robust.

The Department validated its data sources with alternative sources wherever possible, and the statistical content of all research was critically reviewed to ensure it was accurate, methodologically sound and correctly interpreted.

Australia's motor vehicle safety standards are aligned with international standards.

The Department is progressively reviewing the Australian Design Rules to harmonise them, where possible, with international standards developed under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) framework.

85% of vehicle and workshop processes are completed within target timeframes.

A continued increase in demand for additional models to be added to workshops' schedules of approved vehicles affected the Department's ability to meet target timeframes; 67% of vehicle and workshop processes were completed within target timeframes.

Quantity

25 road safety statistical and research publications are released.

The Department released and published on its website 23 road safety statistical and research safety publications, comprising seven road safety research reports and 16 road safety statistics publications.

50 vehicle production and/or test facilities are audited.

Audits of 61 vehicle production and/or test facilities were conducted.

3,400 vehicle types are approved for identification plates and supply to the Australian market.

A total of 4,096 vehicle types were approved for identification plates and supply to the Australian market.

50 Registered Automotive Workshops applications are assessed and 155 RAWS inspections are conducted.

A total of 66 Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme (RAWS) workshop applications were assessed, and 243 inspections were conducted.

16,000 applications to import vehicles are assessed.

In total, 23,340 import approvals were issued.

Price

$16.6 million

The actual price of this output in 2007-08 was $14.5 million.

Overall performance Mostly achieved.

Detailed report on performance

Effectiveness - Output 2.3.2

Stakeholders are assisted to evaluate and improve transport safety interventions and outcomes.

Strategy

In 2007-08, the Department began a comprehensive review of national road safety progress and priorities, and commenced work on the development of the National Road Safety Action Plan for 2009 and 2010. This plan is being developed jointly with state and territory governments, with input from a broad range of organisations and stakeholders through the National Road Safety Strategy Panel. It will be submitted to the Australian Transport Council in late 2008, with a view to implementation from 1 January 2009.

The Department also coordinated scoping work for the development of a new national road safety strategy to follow the current strategy which will conclude in 2010. Analytical work to underpin the next strategy is to be commissioned early in 2008-09. The strategy will be developed jointly with state and territory governments, with input from a broad range of stakeholders.

Outcomes

Australia recorded 1,509 road deaths during the 12 months ending 30 June 2008. This was almost 6 per cent below the number of people killed on the roads in the 12 months to June 2007 (1,598).

The June 2008 result translates to 7.2 deaths per 100,000 people, a 23 per cent reduction from the benchmark rate of 9.3 deaths per 100,000 people (which is based on 1999 figures).

With a challenging target of no more than 5.6 deaths per 100,000 people by the end of 2010 (see Figure 4.3) the Australian Government is working with the states and territories and other stakeholders to accelerate the rate of decline of road deaths, particularly by developing, implementing and monitoring National Road Safety Strategy action plans, and by providing research, data analysis and educational information.

Figure 4.3 Trends in road safety outcomes - fatal crashes

Figure 4.3   Trends in road safety outcomes - fatal crashes

NRSS = National Road Safety Strategy 2001-10

Stakeholders are assisted to evaluate and improve transport safety interventions and outcomes (continued).

Standards

In 2007-08 the Department continued to ensure that all road vehicles complied with appropriate safety, emissions, anti-theft and environmental standards when first entering the Australian market.

This was achieved through the development and administration of the national standards by the Department together with federal, state and territory government agencies, vehicle manufacturers and importers, industry associations, vehicle user groups and the general public.

The Department performed documentation and vehicle assessments, monitoring inspections and audits covering importation and standards compliance, to provide assurance that when vehicles are first supplied to the Australian market they meet the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989.

In 2008, Australia acceded to the UNECE 1998 Agreement Concerning the Establishing of Global Technical Regulations for Wheeled Vehicles, Equipment and Parts which can be fitted and/or be used on Wheeled Vehicles (1998 Global Agreement). The Department arranged this accession, which came into effect on 7 June 2008 and will enable a greater role for Australia in developing international vehicle standards and a reduction in the costs of conformance testing.

Quality - Output 2.3.2

A best practice novice driver program trial is implemented in New South Wales and Victoria.

In 2007-08, work continued on a major cooperative effort - involving the Australian Government, the New South Wales and Victorian governments, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, the Insurance Australia Group and the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria - to develop and trial an innovative driver education program. The project is focused on reducing the casualty crash involvement of newly licensed (P-plate) drivers.

During the year, a detailed curriculum comprising four learning modules was developed for the program. The third module, an on-road coaching session, was successfully tested in a preliminary trial during December 2007. The results of that trial were subsequently used to refine the curriculum.

The project partners will finalise the curriculum by the end of 2008 and expect to commence the full trial during 2009. This will require the delivery of the program to about 7,000 P-platers participating in the trial in each state, with a similar number participating in control groups. All participants will be monitored for at least a year after the completion of the trial and independent experts will be commissioned to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of the program.

National road death statistics and online database are updated within two weeks of the end of each month.

Twelve issues of the monthly statistical bulletin Road Deaths Australia were published and 12 monthly updates to the online database were made.

Statistical analyses and conclusions are accurate and robust.

The Department undertook statistical analyses based on data from a variety of sources. The statistics unit routinely checked its main data sources, validating them using alternative sources where possible. Staff critically reviewed the statistical content of both in-house and externally commissioned research to ensure it was accurate, methodologically sound and correctly interpreted.

The integrity of the Department's statistical information was endorsed by positive feedback from external stakeholders and the general public.

Did you know

International Road Traffic and Accident Database
As a member of the International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD) group, Australia has convenient access to road safety data from many other OECD members. The database, which is managed by the Joint Transport Research Centre of the OECD and the International Transport Forum, enables comparisons of road safety outcomes across member countries over time.  

Australia's motor vehicle safety standards are aligned with international standards.

Before any road vehicle can be supplied to the market in Australia, it must comply with the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989. The Act, which applies to imported and locally manufactured vehicles, requires all vehicles to meet national safety and environment standards when they are first supplied to the Australian market. These standards are the Australian Design Rules (ADRs).

The Department is progressively reviewing the ADRs to harmonise them, where possible, with international standards developed under the UNECE framework.

The harmonisation process is being carried out in consultation with representatives of the state and territory governments, vehicle manufacturing and operating industries, and consumer groups.

The harmonisation review has reached a stage where all the major ADRs relating to specific components and systems are complete. The remaining ADRs cover a combination of general safety issues and vehicle dimensional requirements which will be dealt with as part of the ongoing development of the ADRs.

Harmonising will remove trade barriers and allow vehicles manufactured for world markets to be supplied to Australia without the need for extensive modifications. It will lead to lower costs and better access to safer, more environmentally friendly vehicles.

As part of this process, in 2007-08 the Department completed:

  • major amendments to 10 ADRs;
  • minor adjustments to 10 ADRs;
  • a majority of the consultation process for ADR 58 - Requirements for Omnibuses Designed for Hire and Reward and ADR 66 - Seat Strength, Seat Anchorage Strength and Padding in Omnibuses; and
  • a majority of the identified technical development of the ADR for front under-run barriers in heavy vehicles.

The Department prepared materials for the legislative changes to the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 necessary to facilitate the implementation of the UNECE 1958 Agreement, which provides for mutual recognition of vehicle certification approvals. Policy approval was obtained, and the Department began discussions with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel drafter.

The Department also arranged for Australia's accession to the UNECE 1998 Global Agreement, which facilitates global harmonisation of technical regulations for motor vehicles. Accession occurred on 7 June 2008. Under this agreement, Australia is able to vote on the introduction or amendment of global technical regulations.

85% of vehicle and workshop processes are completed within target timeframes.

Vehicle manufacturers and importers must meet all appropriate provisions of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 and must demonstrate that their vehicle types meet all applicable ADRs before they can supply vehicles to the Australian market.

During 2007-08, 80 per cent of vehicle import application processes were completed through to final approval or refusal within the target timeframe of 17 days from receipt of the final piece of necessary supporting documentation. The processes for compliance certification for all new vehicles have a completion time of 32 working days from the receipt of the last piece of necessary compliance evidence. Overall, in 2007-08 approximately 84 per cent of new vehicle certification processes were completed within the target timeframe: approximately 87 per cent of full volume vehicle certifications, 91 per cent of low-volume certifications and 88 per cent of trailer certifications.

Special compliance arrangements apply for manufacturers and importers who supply limited numbers of new and used vehicles to the specialist and enthusiast market. The Department assesses whether a vehicle is a specialist or enthusiast model under criteria administered as part of the Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicles Scheme (SEVS). In 2007-08, the Department assessed 132 SEVS eligibility applications; 123 were successful.

New vehicles may be supplied to the market under the low-volume arrangements, with the majority of vehicles supplied to the market in limited numbers being used imported vehicles, processed through the Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme (RAWS). Each registered automotive workshop has a 'schedule of vehicles' that specifies the vehicle models that the workshop has been approved to import and modify.

Under RAWS, the approval of new workshops requires a physical inspection of the first vehicle for each workshop and examination of the associated compliance documentation by departmental officers. The first vehicle of a model to be added to a workshop's 'schedule' is generally inspected in a similar manner. The Department aims to complete inspections within six weeks of a workshop submitting a Vehicle Inspection Certificate. The demand for additional vehicle models to be added to workshops' schedules of approved vehicles continued and the total number of vehicles continued to increase in 2007-08.

The inspection and evidence examination processes are resource intensive and closely scrutinise the compliance of vehicles and workshops with the RAWS requirements. Approximately 67 per cent of inspections during 2007-08 were conducted within the target timeframe of 42 days - the average inspection waiting time was 35 days. Approximately 80 per cent of revised evidence documents for RAWS were examined within the target timeframe of 20 working days.

Quantity - Output 2.3.2

25 road safety statistical and research publications are released.

In 2007-08, the Department released and published on its website 23 road safety statistical and research publications:

  • seven road safety research reports, including reports on motorcycle rider behaviour and psychosocial factors influencing mobile phone use while driving; and
  • 16 road safety statistics publications, including three bulletins on fatal heavy vehicle crashes.

50 vehicle production and/or test facilities are audited.

In 2007-08, 70 vehicle production and/or test facilities were audited, an 105 per cent increase compared to 34 in 2006-07. The number of audits was increased to take into account the risks associated with vehicles coming from developing markets such as China and India.

The Department plans to conduct 70 production, design and/or test facility audits in 2008-09. A new audit methodology based on risk management has been introduced to assist in increasing the number of facilities audited.

3,400 vehicle types are approved for identification plates and supply to the Australian market.

There was approximately a 13 per cent increase in the number of vehicle types approved for identification plates and supply to the Australian market, from 3,619 in 2006-07 to 4,096 in 2007-08, due to manufacturers expanding their range of models.

50 Registered Automotive Workshops applications are assessed and 155 RAWS inspections are conducted.

In 2007-08, the Department assessed 219 RAWS workshop applications, 21 new RAWS workshops were approved, and 66 RAWS workshops were renewed. The Department conducted 252 RAWS inspections. The 6 per cent increase in the number of inspections (from 230 in 2006-07) was due to workshops expanding their range of vehicles.

16,000 applications to import vehicles are assessed.

There was an increase of almost 9 per cent in the number of approvals to import vehicles, from 21,513 in 2006-07 to 23,340 in 2007-08. Imports from the United States of America and China increased, due to the strengthening of the Australian dollar and the expansion of the range of vehicles manufactured in China.

Did you know

HealthinfoNet road safety information
The Department supports, along with a number of states and territories, an Internet-based information-sharing resource dedicated to Indigenous road safety which can be found at www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au

Road trauma among Indigenous people results from a variety of factors that need to be considered in the development of specific road safety policies, strategies and programs. In recognition of this and an identified need to improve information-sharing, the Internet resource was established in December 2005 as a initiative under the National Road Safety Strategy.

Table 4.21 Trends in transport safety research and regulation

  2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Research 
Total research publications 41 32 35 0
Aviation research publications 9 10 10 11
Road research publications 30 22 25 23
Other research publications 2 8 5 0
Activity regulated under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989
ADRs (re)issued 1 41 60 16
Compliance of motor vehicles
Audits of production and/or test facilities 58 59 34 70
Approvals to fit identification plates to vehicle type 3,462 4,090 3,619 4,096
Registered Automotive Workshop Schemea
New workshop applications 34 13 12 21
Amending and renewal workshop applicationsb n/a n/a 76 194
Workshops approvedc 64 56 88 66
Inspections conducted 163 268 230 252
Used import plate approvals 6,319 7,465 9,095 10,148
Inspections completed within six weeksd 80% 54% 43% 67%
Examination of evidence submitted completed within 20 working daysd 80% 50% 90% 80%
Motor vehicle imports
Approvals to import vehicle type 23,246 20,210 21,513 23,340
Vehicles covered by import approvals 328,584 237,256 402,118 293,015
Import approvals issued within 17 working days 93% 97% 98% 80%
Activity regulated under the Trade Practices Act 1974
Safety investigations 96 107 106 91
Safety recalls notified 165 158 176 152
Road safety and vehicle policy programs administered under Output 2.3.2
keys2drivee n/a n/a n/a $1.5m
Seatbelts on regional school buses n/a n/a n/a $0.2m

a This scheme began on 1 April 2002 and became mandatory on 8 May 2003 for used imported vehicles.
b Included to indicate all workshop applications assessed during reporting period.
c Includes two-year renewals.
d A new system for measuring this value was introduced in 2004-05.
e This measure was first announced in the 2008-09 Portfolio Budget Statements.

Administered programs for Output 2.3.2 - Road safety and vehicle policy, programs and regulation

Table 4.22 Summary of performance - keys2drive

Performance indicators Results

Facilitate development and delivery of the keys2drive education program for learner driversa.

The Australian Government is funding the development and implementation of the Australian Automobile Association's 'keys2drive' program, which recognises the critical role that parents can play in the development of new drivers. The program will include a free professional driving lesson for learner drivers accompanied by their supervisors, and a comprehensive internet-based resource to support the delivery of effective driver supervision.

Cost

Nil.

The actual cost of this program in 2007-08 was $1.5 million.

Overall performance Fully achieved.

a This measure (and associated performance indicator) was first announced in the 2008-09 PBS.

Table 4.23 Summary of performance - Seatbelts on regional school buses

Performance indicators Results
Effectiveness

The provision of seatbelts on regional school buses is increased.

The first round of the program approved the fitting of seatbelts on 53 school buses, 10 of which had been fitted by the end of 2007-08. The second round of funding approved the fitting out of 24 buses. As school buses are in use during the school term, it is expected that most buses will be retrofitted during school holidays.

Quality

Eligible bus operators are able to apply for funding for buses used on eligible routes.

Applications have been received from eligible bus operators in all states and territories.

Quantity

Up to $25,000 is available per bus to a maximum of $9.4 million (applications are prioritised if the program is oversubscribed).

Applications covering a total of 77 buses were received in 2007-08.

Location

Open to applicants in rural and regional areas.

All applications complied with this requirement.

Cost

$9.4 million

The actual cost of this program in 2007-08 was $0.2 million. As an optional based rebate scheme, the contributing factors towards this result included the limited ability for operators to take buses off line for retrofitting, the introduction of similar jurisdictional schemes, and some successful applicants declining to take up funding offers.

Overall performance Partially achieved.

Note: This measure (and assoicated performance indicators) was first announced in the 2007-08 PAES.

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