Part 4: Activities

Road Safety Program

Through the Road Safety Program (Program 2.3) the department:

  • progressed implementation of reforms to the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989
  • developed and implemented vehicle standards, and undertook compliance and enforcement activities
  • coordinated ongoing delivery arrangements for the National Road Safety Strategy 2011–2020 and National Road Safety Action Plan 2015–2017
  • developed a new National Road Safety Action Plan for 2018–2020
  • improved road safety outcomes through government spending on infrastructure

The program contributed to one of our purposes: making travel safer.


Vehicle standards

Reforms to the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989

Under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989, all vehicles—either newly manufactured in Australia or imported as new or used vehicles—are required to comply with the national vehicle standards (the Australian Design Rules (ADRs)) or concessional requirements before they can be supplied to the market for use in transport.

In 2017–18 the department continued implementing reforms to the Act to reduce regulatory costs and provide consumers with a choice of road vehicles that meet the community's safety, environmental, energy saving and anti-theft expectations. The Australian Government released an exposure draft of the Road Vehicle Standards package of legislation in December 2017, and a draft Cost Recovery Implementation Statement in early 2018. The Road Vehicle Standards package of Bills was introduced into Parliament in February 2018. If passed, reforms introduced in the legislation are expected to save businesses more than $20 million a year in regulatory compliance costs.

Standards development and implementation

The department continued developing and implementing the ADRs during the year, including to harmonise the delivery of both safety and environmental outcomes to international approaches. Regulation that is based on internationally agreed standards provides consumers with access to the safest vehicles from the global market, at the lowest possible cost. As such, it is important that we help develop international vehicle standards and assess them for implementation in Australia consistent with international timetables. The vehicle safety actions under the National Road Safety Action Plan 2015–2017 were completed with the introduction of new ADRs for advanced braking systems on motorcycles, and stability control systems on heavy trucks, buses and trailers. A number of other standards were further harmonized in anticipation of new international arrangements for approving vehicles come into effect in 2019.

To implement the standards, the department issues approvals and licences for new vehicles. In 2017–18 this included 3,425 vehicle certification type approvals and amendments. We also issued 7,356 Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme (RAWS) import approvals and 7,135 RAWS used vehicle plate approvals. We also assessed 18,236 vehicle import applications under the concessional arrangements of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989.

Compliance and enforcement activities

To promote vehicle safety outcomes, the department undertakes a risk-based program of activities to monitor, identify and address non-compliance. The department works with industry, including manufacturers and suppliers, to raise awareness and encourage higher levels of voluntary compliance.

Our approach to compliance and enforcement was published in the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989: Compliance and Enforcement Strategy in December 2017.

Our 2017–18 compliance and enforcement program included a focus on areas such as manufacturers' quality management systems, vehicles converted from left to right hand drive, and compliance with bus emergency exit requirements. The department implemented an education and outreach program designed to educate entities and help them with their compliance obligations under the Act. This included a regular industry publication to promote compliance messages. In 2017–18 the department received 432 vehicle safety and non-compliance reports, which further informed our compliance activities.

Coordinating a national approach

The department coordinates the ongoing delivery arrangements for the National Road Safety Strategy 2011–2020 and its supporting action plans. This includes road safety data collection and progress reporting to inform and improve road safety for all road users. While completing delivery of the National Road Safety Action Plan 2015–2017, the department worked with state and territory agencies to develop a new plan for 2018–2020, which was endorsed by the Transport and Infrastructure Council on 18 May 2018. We also managed an Austroads project to develop a national source of injury data that is planned for the end of 2019 to support development of the next National Road Safety Strategy.

Administrative support was provided for an inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy 2011–2020, initiated by the Australian Government with help from the Transport and Infrastructure Council. Two independent co-chairs are looking closely at the evidence and will advise how to prevent future road trauma.

The department convened a National Drug Driving Working Group with police, government road authorities and key policy makers. The group is developing a national best practice model for roadside drug testing, which will be provided to the Transport and Infrastructure Council in November 2018.


keys2drive learner driver program provided 39,831 drivers with free lessons and resources

In 2017–18 the department administered $4 million through the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) to fund the keys2drive program. This provides learner drivers and their supervisor with one free driving lesson with an accredited instructor. It also supports learners and supervisors with educational material and practical guidance. A new funding agreement was put in place during the year, which includes measures to increase the number of keys2drive lessons delivered in regional areas and—for the first time—cash and in-kind contributions from AAA.

Summary of expenses

For a summary of expenses please refer to Road Safety Program (Program 2.3) at Appendix A.

Keys2drive delivers a free lesson to learner drivers

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Last Updated: 12 November, 2018