Program 2.3—Road Safety


The Department led and coordinated the development of Australia's ambitious 10-year strategy to reduce the level of death and serious injury caused by road crashes. The National Road Safety Strategy 2011–2020 was launched by ministers of the Australian Transport Council (ATC) on 20 May 2011.

The Department provided secretariat, research, project management, monitoring and reporting services to the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), in line with the National Partnership Agreement. The NRSC advises the ATC on the implementation of national road safety measures.

Australia is leading an international working group to develop a global vehicle standard on pole side impact. This is expected to significantly improve vehicle crashworthiness in side impacts with narrow objects as well as enhancing safety in other types of side impact. In 2011, the Department chaired meetings of the working group in Bonn, Brussels and Washington. In May and June 2011, a joint crash test program was conducted in partnership with Canada to provide key data for development of the standard.

The Australian Government announced that its vehicle fleet purchasing guidelines would require passenger vehicles to have an ANCAP (Australasian New Car Assessment Program) 5 star safety rating from 1 July 2011, and light commercial vehicles to have a 4 star rating from 1 July 2012. These requirements mean the Australian Government is leading the way in fleet safety, and complements the Australian Government's role in regulating vehicle safety for the community.


Program 2.3 was delivered through the work of the Surface Transport Policy Division and the Policy and Research Division. Program 2.3 contributed to the development of a safer road transport system by working to make vehicles and occupants safer, and drivers more informed.

Summary of performance

Tables 4.7 and 4.8 summarise the Department's results in delivering Program 2.3, against the key performance indicators and deliverables and their targets published in the 2010–11 Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS).

Table 4.7 Summary of performance—Program 2.3 key performance indicators
Key performance indicator Target Result
Australia's motor vehicle safety standards are aligned with international standards. Ongoing policies and legislation are sufficiently robust to enable a safe, efficient and environmentally responsible light and heavy vehicle sector. 10–11 Achieved 09–10 Achieved
Following the application of 29 UNECE regulations in 2010, the Department has been developing a determination to facilitate the automatic acceptance of subsequent amendments to these regulations within the ADR system. It has also reviewed the structure of the ADR consultative groups to improve decision-making and coordination.
Road vehicles supplied to the Australian market meet appropriate safety, emissions, anti-theft and environmental standards. Ongoing provision of technical and administrative framework. The Department continued work aimed at ensuring that road vehicles supplied to the market met legislative and administrative requirements.
Contribute to the development of a safe road transport system. Statistical analysis and information published is accurate and robust. Stakeholders are assisted to evaluate and improve transport safety outcomes. Published BITRE statistical reports contained accurate and robust analysis and information. A range of statistical information, research findings and policy advice was provided to stakeholders to support improved road safety outcomes.

The Department assists the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on matters relating to the recall of automotive-related products under the provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. In 2010–11, the Department conducted 83 safety investigations and monitored 144 new voluntary recalls notified by vehicle suppliers.

Results Key

Achieved All targets for 2010–11 were met or exceeded
Not achieved None or minimal progress was made against targets in 2010–11
Partially achieved Some targets were met, and any issues are being managed
Substantially achieved Targets were mostly met, and any issues are being managed
Table 4.8 Summary of performance—Program 2.3 deliverables
Deliverable Target Result
Publish regular statistical bulletins on national road deaths. Updated statistics published within two weeks of the end of each month. Regular BITRE statistical bulletins on national road deaths were published within two weeks of the end of each month.
Develop and conduct relevant surveys on road safety matters. Develop survey of community attitudes to road safety issues. A research company was engaged to conduct the 2011 Survey of Community Attitudes to Road Safety and the fieldwork was undertaken.
Coordinate development and monitoring of the National Road Safety Strategy 2011 2020 for the Australian Transport Council (ATC). Final strategy delivered to ATC by end 2010. A draft strategy was delivered to ATC in September 2010. The strategy was further developed and the final version was approved for release in May 2011.
Contribute to the development of international vehicle standards and implement new and updated international standards in Australia, through Australian Design Rules, where warranted. The Department actively participates in the development of international vehicle standards, robustly assesses standards for implementation in Australia (including through Regulation Impact Statements) and implements standards consistent with international timetables. The Department led work to develop a global vehicle standard on pole side impact, which will improve vehicle crashworthiness in side impacts with narrow objects and in side impacts generally. This included chairing an international working group and conduct of a crash test program.

The Department released one major Regulation Impact Statement on Pedestrian Safety for consultation and completed three ADR amendments relating to vehicle categories, environmentally friendly gearboxes and safety glazing.

A research project was commissioned to review Electronic Stability Control for light commercial vehicles, and further work was carried out on ADRs for buses, including a bus seat crash test program. Work was also progressed on standards for ISOFIX child restraint systems and Seatbelt Reminder Systems.
Maintain a system to ensure new vehicle models entering the Australian market are assessed as meeting, and continue to meet, regulatory requirements. Applications for approval to place identification plates are considered in a timely manner and a risk based audit and enforcement program is conducted. 3,104 vehicle certification approvals were issued in 2010–11, and 120 applications for inclusion on the Register of Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicles assessed and concluded.

95 per cent of applications for approval to place identification plates were approved within 32 days (as outlined in the service charter). A risk-based audit and enforcement program was also conducted (70 audits of vehicle production and/or test facilities were completed).
Maintain a system to ensure that Registered Automotive Workshops (RAW) and the used vehicles they supply to the Australian market meet regulatory standards. Applications for RAW approval and to import and plate used imported vehicles are considered in a timely manner, including conduct of mandatory inspections; and a risk based audit and enforcement program. 196 workshop inspections were completed and 8,786 used vehicle import plates issued in 2010–11.

67 per cent of workshop inspections were completed in six weeks, and 82 per cent of evidence examinations were completed within 20 working days.
Maintain a system to allow for the importation of standard vehicles and to ensure the importation of non-standard vehicles is in accordance with legislation. Applications for vehicle import approval are assessed in a timely manner. A total of 18,093 (non-RAWS) applications were received during 2010–11 at an average of 1,508 a month.

The service charter for processing vehicle import applications sets a target service standard of 15 working days, although it notes that this may not be met in peak periods.

There was a major surge in vehicle import applications and telephone inquiries from October 2010 to April 2011. Average processing time peaked at 35 working days.

The Department returned to the target processing time of 15 working days in March 2011 and has maintained processing time to be within this service charter target.
Efficient and effective management of administered items. Items are administered in accordance with relevant legislation, published guidelines and ANAO guidance. Administered items were administered in accordance with relevant legislation, published guidelines and ANAO guidance.
Facilitate the ongoing development and delivery of the keys2drive education program for learner drivers. Assist the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) in the development, national rollout and delivery of the program. The Department worked with the AAA to refine program components, improve access to accreditation for driving instructors, and increase the number of lessons provided to learner drivers.
The number of school buses equipped with seatbelts for students in rural and regional areas is increased as a consequence of the Seatbelts on regional school buses administered item. Applications are processed and buses are fitted or retrofitted within specified guidelines. A total of 38 school bus operators applied for funding to fit seatbelts to 72 buses. Funding approval was granted for all the buses.

Table 4.9 provides a summary of the results achieved by each of the administered items under Program 2.3.

Table 4.9 Summary of performance—Program 2.3 administered items
Administered item Result
Keys2drive. $5.0 million in 2010–11 for program delivery which includes over 19,000 lessons as at 30 June 2011.
National Road Safety Council contribution. $612,500.
Seatbelts on regional school buses. In 2010–11, the fitting of seatbelts was completed in 52 buses and $0.7 million in funding was paid to school bus operators.

The budget and actual expenditure for each administered item is listed in appendix A.

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Last Updated: 29 October, 2014