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Roads are for people – latest vehicle safety information to focus on all road users

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Motor vehicle traders and industry associations are showing great support for vehicle safety rating labels which aim to help car buyers make potentially life-saving choices when purchasing their next vehicle.

From today, safety ratings published on Rightcar will focus on the impact vehicles have on all people involved in crashes on New Zealand roads. This change will lead to a greater improvement in road safety and help to reduce the number of people who die or are seriously injured on our roads.

To standardise the way safety rating information is presented to the public, both Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) and Vehicle Safety Risk Ratings (VSRR) will be using Overall Safety as the headline, or primary, measure of safety. This measures the safety of a vehicle for not only its own occupants but also all road users involved in a crash, including people in other cars, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.

The Overall Safety rating will also be used as the safety rating published on third party websites such as TradeMe.

Driver Safety ratings will continue to be published on Rightcar for both UCSR and VSRR ratings, so people can find out how well a vehicle will protect them in the event of a crash. Other Road User Safety will also be published to show the impact of a crash on occupants of other vehicles as well as cyclists and pedestrians.

“Improving safety on New Zealand roads is a top priority for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. Waka Kotahi is committed to Vision Zero, which aspires to a New Zealand where no-one is killed or seriously injured on our roads. Improving the safety of vehicles driven on our roads is a key part of our work to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads”, says Kane Patena, Director of Land Transport at Waka Kotahi.

“As we transition to a low carbon transport system, we also need to ensure that walking and cycling are safe travel options, so it’s crucial that vehicle safety ratings now focus on all people using our roads.”

Changes to the fuel economy and carbon emissions data published on Rightcar will also come into effect today, as New Zealand adopts a newer international vehicle fuel economy testing standard – the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Testing Procedure (WLTP).

The WLTP is a worldwide standard for testing fuel economy, CO2 emissions and electric vehicle (EV) range of passenger and light commercial vehicles. It is a standardised laboratory test based on real driving data that better reflects realistic road use such as variable speed ranges, acceleration and deceleration.

Because the new testing better represents real-life driving conditions, fuel consumption may appear higher, and EV range lower, than under the old standard. The vehicle’s performance hasn’t changed, just the way fuel economy is measured is more realistic.

Today’s Rightcar update also includes an annual safety rating update, with the latest safety ratings for all vehicles in New Zealand which have been assessed by Monash University’s Accident Research Centre using a database of 8 million crashes.

Since the ratings measure the relative safety of vehicles compared to all others on the road, the current ratings for some vehicles in New Zealand will change from today, reflecting that newer, safer vehicles continue to enter the fleet.

“People are increasingly placing more importance on safety and environmental impact in their vehicle buying decisions, and we’re continuing to encourage people to buy the safest, cleanest, most efficient vehicle in their price range.

Find vehicles with high safety and environmental ratings in New Zealand at rightcar.govt.nz/safe-and-clean(external link)

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