Parents, buy your kids a shiny new volvo
MANY of us look back with fondness at our first car. An old, clapped-out, bomb that only just got you from A to B is the memory that comes to mind for most.
But as the Christmas holidays approach and our kids take to the road, is giving the kids the keys to the family’s oldest car good enough?
As Australia’s key road safety advisory body, the National Road Safety Council thinks its time we give our kids the keys to our Australasian New Car Assessment Program 5 star-rated car parked in the garage.
Getting kids into safer cars just makes sense.
More young adults die on our roads each year than any other age group. While making up only 16 per cent of the adult population, drivers aged 17 to 25 account for a quarter of all driver deaths.
If we all drove safer cars, the impact on the road toll would be dramatic. Research by the Monash University Accident Research Centre estimated that if people bought the safest car in their desired class, road trauma involving light passenger vehicles could be reduced by 26 per cent.significantly.
In real terms, it That could mean up to 300 fewer road deaths and 6000 fewer serious injuries from road crashes each year.
But getting access to safer cars is easier said than done. By world standards, Australia’s car fleet is positively elderly - an average of 10 years of age.
However, while about 85 per cent of new cars rated are 4 or 5 star according to the ANCAP rating system, the truth is that many of us aren’t in the market for new cars.
The facts about many older cars and safety are stark. The risk of death or serious injury in a crash in a vehicle made in 1987 is about double that of a vehicle made in 2007.
That’s why the National Road Safety Council has called for government fleets and also large corporate fleets to change their vehicle purchasing policies, to specify 5 star vehicles.
This simple policy change would not only make government and corporate employees safer, but long term would have a huge knock-on effect in Australia’s second car fleet - where many of us are buying for our kids.
A more modern Australian car fleet means our kids are driving cars with more active and passive safety features that will reduce both the impact and severity of crashes.
If you’re passionate about getting kids into safer cars, now is the time to have your say.
The National Road Safety Council’s 5 star car initiative for national fleets is one of the recommendations contained in the Australian Transport Council’s (ATC’s) draft National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 (NRSS), released this month by the Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon Catherine King MP.
The 10-week public consultation period for the draft strategy is a once in a decade chance for you to help chart a course for road safety over the next decade.
The National Road Safety Council believes that road deaths and injuries are unacceptable. It’s a monumental social problem that we can all do something about.
Now’s the chance to speak up and have your say. It might just save your child’s life.
Submissions on the draft NRSS close on 11 February 2011. Go to www.infrastructure.gov.au to have your say.
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