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Improving the stability and control of heavy vehicles

02 February 2018

The Australian Government should save 148 lives in the coming years by mandating stability control for new trucks and trailers, the ATA’s response to the consultation regulatory impact statement [PDF, 4.7MB] on mandating stability control for heavy vehicles says.

Stability control is a vehicle safety system that monitors the stability and sideways acceleration of a heavy vehicle, and kicks in to brake the vehicle if it detects a rollover starting.

The RIS proposes that stability control should be required for new prime movers weighing more than 12 tonnes and new trailers weighing more than 10 tonnes. The technology would not need to be fitted to new rigid trucks.

The ATA submission recommends that the Government should go much further and adopt what the RIS calls option 6a. Under this option, stability control would be mandated for all new trucks and trailers, including rigid trucks, with only narrow exceptions.

The ATA approach would save 148 lives and stop 1,496 serious injuries. It would save 24 more lives and stop 412 more serious injuries than the narrow approach recommended in the RIS.

New road train converter dollies would be exempt from the ESC requirement, because of issues with the technology in the rough conditions encountered by road trains in rural and remote areas. Non-standard low loaders would also be exempt.