Safer car design has cut road casualties
SHOP ON-LINE AT
OPTICAL AND HEARING
NEWS ON RADIO
with Next Car,
4th December, 2005
Road casualties have fallen dramatically in 10 years, thanks to improvements in new car design. That was the message delivered in Brussels last week by UK transport minister, Dr Stephen Ladyman MP at a conference to celebrate 10 years of independent crash test body EuroNCAP.
'Car makers deserve real credit for dramatic improvements in safety trends over the last 10 years.', he said. He added that EuroNCAP might extend its role beyond crash tests to communicate abuse of safety rules and highlighted the case of the Landwind, a Chinese import into the EU.
The SUV was imported via Germany, but was not subject to the strict safety rules and crash tests applied to other 4x4 vehicles on the market. Instead, the importer used procedures intended for low volume car makers.
Following import, crash tests were carried out by German safety body ADAC. The results were poor, showing basic shortcomings in areas such as a lack of a collapsible steering column. In the footage, the steering column can be seen moving forward and upward, striking the driver's head before breaking through the vehicle roof.
While Dr Ladyman said that the EU must maintain Single Vehicle Approval (SVA), to support niche manufacturers like specialist sport car makers in the UK, he described the Landwind situation as 'totally unacceptable'.
Mr Ari Vatanen, road safety rapporteur in the European Parliament, added his support for the minister's comments. He described the Landwind case as a loophole that must be closed. He said that volume manufacturers must not be allowed to bring vehicles to the European market under 'low volume' rules, side-stepping the legislative requirement for crash testing.
Dr Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of the European automobile manufacturers' association ACEA also spoke at the event. He praised the role of EuroNCAP in driving safety improvements in new car design, but sounded a note of caution about too much focus on the car and too little in other areas of road safety.
Dr Marchionne called for an integrated approach in the drive to reduce casualties further. This would look to other key factors central to road safety improvements, including better road design, driver training, education and enforcement, he said.
As well as hosting a range of high profile, international speakers, EuroNCAP revealed the results of a consumer survey, looking at how safety factors feature on the new car buyers' agenda.
Holden Celebrates Four Millionth Export Engine
Morgan 4/4 70th Anniversary Model
Peugeot Round Australia Trial 50th Anniversary
Mazda Secures A Record November
Volkswagen dominates "Auto Trophy"
Suzuki Announces New SX4
Morgan "drive-away" Prices
Land Rover G4 Challenge
Monaro In Force for Queensland Police
Mazda Bravo Gets More Grunt
Melbourne's Suzuki Night Markets
VW Golf GTI Wins