Continued government funding for vehicles testing

The federal government's decision to provide additional funding to the vehicle crash testing authority, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), has met warm reception from the Australian Automobile Association (AAA).

Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs revealed yesterday that the Australian government would commit $2.2 million over the next two years to fund ANCAP.

Since 1992, ANCAP has provided fleet mangers and consumers with information on how safe vehicles on Australia's roads are in an accident. By simulating crashes and analysing the results, a safety rating between one and five stars is awarded to vehicles.

Mr Briggs said it was important to continue funding to ANCAP with the authority increased coverage to 95 per cent of new cars and commercial vehicles.

"The Australian Government is committed to working with organisations like ANCAP to raise awareness of road safety and to reduce death and injury on our roads through safer vehicles, safer roads and safer drivers," he said.

AAA Chief Executive Andrew McKellar said these authorities are critical for consumers and businesses to make informed choices when purchasing vehicles.

"There is growing consumer awareness and acceptance of ANCAP's crash ratings which has put welcome pressure on the automotive industry to improve the safety of their vehicles," he said.

ANCAP Chairman Lauchlan McIntosh said it was "reassuring" to have the government continue funding the program.

"This funding will see ANCAP enter the next phase of vehicle safety assessment as we recognise the rapid growth of active safety technologies and begin to assess their effectiveness," he said.

"Manufacturers recognise and accept the value of the ANCAP process in encouraging new car buyers including fleet managers, to look for and buy the safest cars available."

To complement ANCAP ratings, businesses should invest in fleet management software which alerts drivers to when vehicles are due for service.