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ANCAP says big drop in road toll achievable with hi-tech safety aids.

THE federal government’s National Road Safety Strategy target of reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries on Australia’s roads is a “reasonably conservative” one, according to chairman of the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), Nicholas Clarke.
ANCAP believes the proliferation of safer vehicles and the retirement of older, unsafe vehicles will make a significant contribution to improving the road toll – which currently stands at around five deaths per day and 85 serious injuries – including two permanent injuries.
Mr Clarke said the road toll costs the Australian economy an estimated $27 billion per year – around the same as the federal defence budget – and Safe Work Australia reports that vehicles are involved in one third of work-related deaths.
ANCAP is targeting the public with their customer awareness campaign, which will hopefully make car buyers think twice before buying a car with less than  four safety stars backed by a website listing all its test results and even a mobile version aimed at enabling potential purchasers to instantly find out the safety rating of a prospective purchase via smart phone from the dealer’s forecourt. 
Mr Clarke believes that along with ever-improving crash protection, “removing the driver from the equation” by encouraging the standard fitment of human error-correcting technology already on the market, or in the late stages of development, will result in plummeting road toll figures. 
Examples of technologies already available include fatigue detection, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and radar or camera-based systems that detect a likely collision and alert the driver or apply the brakes – and many of these potentially life-saving electronics are no longer the preserve of premium brand vehicles.
As collision-avoidance systems have not yet reached market maturity or any kind of standardisation and new ones are constantly being developed, ANCAP and other international road safety bodies are still deciding which to make mandatory.
So hopefully through more safer cars being driven on the roads in the future, the governmental costs of collisions and injuries will decrease along with insurance premiums, toll costs and other road costs all of us drivers are forced to pay. 

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