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Towards Zero 
Improving safety through vehicles and technology
Advances in vehicle design and technology are helping to prevent crashes from occurring and better protecting all road users in the event of a crash. Over $3 million is committed to supporting and encouraging Tasmanians to drive safer vehicles.

Under the Safe System approach, we know that we will make mistakes – it is a part of being human. To achieve the vision of zero road trauma, we must take advantage of the latest vehicle and crash avoidance technologies and ensure that more Tasmanians are travelling in safer vehicles. New vehicles are increasingly becoming safer with ongoing improvements in minimum safety standards. Modern vehicles provide superior occupant protection in crashes and are increasingly equipped with active collision avoidance technologies.

A challenge for Tasmania is that it has the oldest vehicle fleet in the country with an average age of 12.8 years. This means more time and resources must be expended maintaining the roadworthiness of Tasmania’s older vehicles. It also means that many Tasmanians are not benefiting from the latest safety features. Active collision avoidance technologies are now recognised in the ANCAP vehicle safety testing. These technologies alert the driver to potential hazards, give the driver more control in emergency situations and act autonomously to prevent a collision. New features also help drivers to adhere to the speed limit, minimise blind spots, reduce distraction and monitor signs of driver fatigue.


The rate of fatal crashes per registered vehicle is four times higher for vehicles aged 15 years or older than for vehicles aged five years old or less.


Many Tasmanians purchase their vehicles second hand. Like ANCAP, Used Car Safety Ratings help consumers to choose the safest vehicle within their budget. The majority of new cars are purchased by fleet buyers. Road safety can be improved by ensuring that fleet managers, both in government and the private sector, buy vehicles with the highest safety ratings. Not only will this improve the safety of people who use the roads for work, it also introduces a greater number of safer vehicles into the second-hand market. Automating the driving task and collision avoidance technologies are in their infancy, but they are evolving rapidly and have enormous potential to reduce road trauma.

Action Plan Initiatives

  • Ensure that the vehicles on our roads are roadworthy

    The Transport Safety and Investigation Unit performs a range of important road safety roles, including public education on vehicle usage and public passenger vehicle compliance and enforcement. A Light Vehicle Safety Strategy is being developed to improve road safety by ensuring all vehicles in use on our roads meet required safety standards, increasing public demand for safer vehicles and reducing the age of the Tasmanian light vehicle fleet.

  • Continue to support ANCAP

    Continue funding of the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) and assist in the promotion of its work testing and advocating for the purchase of safer vehicles.

  • Assist young drivers to buy safer vehicles

    Young drivers are one of the highest risk groups on our roads, yet they often drive older and less safe vehicles. Initiatives are being investigated to assist young drivers to buy the safest vehicle they can afford.

  • Improve safety for workplace drivers

    Opportunities to improve the safety of the large number of Tasmanians whose work involves driving on our roads are being investigated. This includes implementing higher standards for government fleets and encouraging the private sector to purchase safer vehicles.

  • Monitor developments in vehicle technology

    Autonomous vehicle and crash avoidance readiness is being monitored in Tasmania to make sure that our infrastructure, communication devices and laws are compatible with emerging technologies.