Thousands of four-wheel drive owners across Australia may be forced to fit smaller bullbars to their vehicles as governments face increased pressure to enforce design laws because of safety fears.
The NSW Minister for
Transport, Carl Scully, announced yesterday that he wanted a national approach to the issue, including improved designs for bullbars on four-wheel drive vehicles driven in the city.
And the public action group, the Pedestrian Council of Australia, warned there would be major insurance ramifications unless governments acted to force retrospective standards on all vehicles with bullbars.
Mr Scully said he would raise the issue at the Council of
Australian Transport Ministers when it met next week to ensure a co-ordinated, Australia-wide approach to making four-wheel drives safer.
"The issues to be discussed include making a 'reverse alarm' mandatory for all new four-wheel drive vehicles, and improving the design of bullbars fitted to four-wheel drives in the future to minimise injuries to pedestrians," he said.
"In addition, the introduction of better mirrors to improve visibility for drivers of four-wheel drives when reversing will be examined.
"Four-wheel drives with bullbars have become increasingly popular and are here to stay, so we need to ensure that they are as safe as possible when being driven in the city.
"There are many areas in which the NSW Government is trying to encourage improved vehicle design to minimise road trauma."
The chairman of the Pedestrian Council of Australia, Harold Scruby, welcomed the move, and said new design standards for bullbars would soon be released by Standards Australia.
Mr Scruby, who has championed the fight against "Mad Max" bullbars, predicted there would be major legal ramifications, including insurance claims, unless governments took a tough stance.
"We welcome the comments of Mr Scully, especially as we will soon have a Standards Australia design on bullbars," Mr Scruby said.
"It will be ready within a month. We would like all vehicles, within a reasonable period of time, to be brought up to that standard.
"If anyone argues against forcing older cars to comply then I would remind people about the changes to gun laws, seat belts and random breath testing. These are just new, safer standards."
Mr Scruby said the new standard would mean a bullbar would have to fit within the original profile of the vehicle.
It could not protrude forward of the bumper bar or be wider than the vehicle.
It would also have to slope backwards, and have no sharp edges or protrusions like fishing rod holders.
"I believe that 90 per cent of current bullbars do not comply. If governments think they can ignore this issue then they should think about the insurance implications," Mr Scruby warned
You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, 'Parking Fine.'So that was nice.
Insurance ramifications??? What about insurance ramifications of all the extra animal strike damage... I'd love to know the respective payouts that go to pedestrians hit by vehicles with bullbars (where the bullbars actually made a difference to the outcome) as opposed to the cost of damage dome by skippys.
I dislike it when people use emotive and uninformed statements to lend weight to their cause.
Friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies...
I'm dead sure seatbelts werent retrospective. The Morris 1100 was registered as a 4 seater but only had seatbelts for the front. Ditto the Cortina 440.
Personally I'd like to see an end to the 4WD being used for the shopping and the getting of the kids. Surely a minivan/torago would be a better choice (he says as he looks at the dent a 4WD gave the boot of the EDV8)
"Be sure to leave your underpants with someone you can trust"
When I had my XD, I wanted to fit a roll cage and shaker (back in my rev head days). The answer from Transport SA was NO and NO! Why? The shaker is a danger to pedestrians and the cage to passengers.
Could I fit a big bull bar and fishing rod racks? YES!
Not to mention the loads an impact with a non-factory bull bar has on sections of the chassis not designed to have imposed on them. You may get the panels fixed, but the underlying structural damage could go a lot further than if you didn't have the bar. That's what crumple zones are for, and yes, Ford and Holden have crash test kangaroos to assess the damage caused!
'We drew a line in the sand. No one would kick sand in our faces again!' G.P.
EF Fairmont Ghia, Bordeaux Purple, 5.0 Windsor, Crane cam, ChipTorque modded ECU, full XR bodykit, 16 inch XR8 alloys, 2.5 inch dropped Tickford suspension, full grey leather trim with chrome, woodgrain and lots of lights, climate control, ABS, Premium sound, trip computer, power everything
oh dear insurance is costing us a fortune............i got a good idea lets not drive at all, not go out into the public, get sick, have kids, go to work..............hey i've got a good one, lets not be responsible for our own actions( eg walk onto a roadway without looking for traffic)
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