Safety request ig­nored

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

THE Fed­eral and State gov­ern­ments have re­jected a call for all their new fleet ve­hi­cles to have five-star safety rat­ings.

Na­tional Road Safety Coun­cil chair­man Roger Cook can­not be­lieve that gov­ern­ments will not make the change to safer ve­hi­cles.

‘‘Ex­tra cost would be min­i­mal be­cause more than 50 per cent of all cars are now five-star rated,’’ he says.

‘‘What we are try­ing to ac­com­plish is to get the car fleet mod­ernised be­cause it’s pretty old — about 10 years on av­er­age.

‘‘Those five-star govern­ment cars would then flow into the used car fleet in a cou­ple of years, mak­ing them cheaper and more avail­able to young peo­ple who have the high­est ca­su­alty rates.

‘‘If all young driv­ers were in fives­tar ve­hi­cles their ac­ci­dent rate would drop by 25 per cent.’’

Driv­ers un­der 25 years ac­count for 13 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion but 24 per cent of road deaths, he says.

‘‘We have asked state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments to move to five-star rat­ings and gen­er­ally with­out ex­cep­tion they ac­knowl­edge it’s a good thing to do, but to be bru­tally frank there is not a lot of ab­so­lute com­mit­ment at the present,’’ he says.

‘‘Get the gov­ern­ments to do it and that will be a good ex­am­ple to the pri­vate sec­tor.’’

MARK HINCH­LIFFE

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