Calls for mandatory safety ratings on vehicles

Despite the great work the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) does, the Royal Automotive Club (RAC) believes all new vehicles need a mandatory safety rating.

Western Australia holds the one of the highest accident rates in the country as, in 2013, the state recorded one fatality close to every two days. The WA government plays a critical role in reducing road crashes, but the RAC believes more of the responsibility should fall on car manufacturers.

The club compared vehicle safety ratings to the energy consumption labels which are on many brand-new appliances.

RAC General Manager Corporate Affairs, Will Golsby, said having this information will be beneficial to all road users, including the fleet services that are constantly moving throughout the state.

"Unlike the energy consumption labels on refrigerators and washing machines, there is currently no mandatory requirement to display vehicle safety ratings at the point of sale - information which could save lives on WA roads," he said.

"According to the ANCAP, vehicle occupants have twice the chance of being killed or seriously injured in a vehicle rated 1-star compared with a 5-star rated vehicle."

RAC actively work with ANCAP to alert fleet managers and consumers to what the safety rating of a vehicle is and how important it is to check when buying a new vehicle.

The RAC is also encouraging the WA state government to force all car dealerships to display the ANCAP ratings of vehicles. The government has recently announced some dealerships will be made to display rating which the RAC describes as a good "first step".

"Expanding this initiative across all cars and highlighting their safety rating at the point of sale has the potential to help consumers make safer choices when purchasing a new car," he said.

As well as checking the ANCAP safety rating, fleet managers should also invest in fleet management software which can ensure services and maintenance of vehicles is done on time to keep all road users safe.