Road Safety Week: play it safe

Safety should be the main priority when buying a vehicle, road safety authorities said today, the fourth of Road Safety Week.

Tasmanians will experience a graphic display of vehicle safety at the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) display at Agfest.

The display has been brought to the State by ANCAP, the Road Safety Advisory Council and RACT and is the first time it’s been in Tasmania. The display shows two crash tested vehicles each crash tested at 64 kilometres an hour. One, a Chery J1 with a three-star ANCAP safety rating and the other, a Subaru Forester which holds a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

“The display is a stark illustration of the potential risk of driver and passenger injuries in different vehicles, when involved in a crash,” ANCAP Chief Executive Officer James Goodwin said.

The display allows consumers to see the significant differences in safety performance between a top rated vehicle and the poor rated three-star vehicle.

“It is of vital importance that consumers are aware of the safety of their vehicle or one they are looking to purchase. There are five-star choices in all market segments and ANCAP encourages consumers to buy the safest car they can afford,” Mr Goodwin said.

An ANCAP safety rating is awarded to a vehicle after it has undergone a number of physical crash tests, along with an assessment of its safety assist technologies.

“The ANCAP star rating system takes the guess work out of vehicle safety for consumers. The more stars the better, with a five-star ANCAP safety rating demonstrating the highest level of vehicle safety,” he said.

He urged people in the market for a vehicle to visit where they can check the ANCAP safety rating of their current or prospective new vehicle.

New vehicles have never been safer and manufacturers were making safety a priority and a major selling point, Road Safety Advisory Council Chair Jim Cox said.

“Not all of us can afford a new vehicle but that shouldn’t stop us from buying the safest possible vehicle, that may be a used one, within our budget,” Mr Cox said.

RACT’s Executive General Manager, Membership and Community Stacey Pennicott said safety should be the vehicle buyer’s top priority.

“Safety is more important than colour, sound system or other features,” she said.

Police Commander Brett Smith said the focus of Police throughout the State today would be focussing on vehicles’ road worthiness.

“Drivers should ensure their vehicle is as safe as it can be by having, among other things, the brakes and lights are working as they should and correct tyre pressure and tread.”