PCA Congratulates NSW Government and RTA on Bullbar Inspection Safety Standards

The Chairman of the PCA, Mr Harold Scruby, today congratulated the NSW Government, Minister for Roads and Transport, the Hon Carl Scully, the RTA (Roads and Traffic Authority of NSW) and the NRMA on being the first state in Australia to ensure that equipment protruding from the front of vehicles complies with Australian Design Rules and Regulations (attached, today’s RTA press advertisement).

Mr Scruby said: "For over a year now, we have been working with representatives from the NRMA and the RTA in order to create inspection standards which will vastly improve the style and type of bullbars and attachments fitted to NSW vehicles. While this is not the perfect solution, it is a politically achievable result until Standards Australia finalises its design standards for bullbars.

"The Australian Design Rule (ADR) 42.9.1, which has been in force since 1988, states very clearly: ‘No vehicle shall be equipped with any object or fitting, not technically essential which protrudes from any part of the vehicle so that it is likely to increase the risk of bodily injury to any person.’

Mr Scruby added; "Apart from the extraordinary and inordinate amount of death, injury, grief and suffering caused by bullbars to pedestrians and the occupants of motor vehicles (let alone the damage to property), the former Federal Office of Road Safety (FORS), now the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) expressed their serious concerns about these devices.

"Their study, ROAD SAFETY REPORT CR200 - Bull Bars and Road Trauma - December 2000 - ESTIMATION OF EXTRA RISK states (quote): ‘There have been several different approaches in the literature in estimating the contribution of bullbars to road casualty statistics. A short report by FORS (Monograph 7, 1996) examined Australian fatal crash data for pedestrians for the year 1992. It states that bullbars were involved in 12% of fatal pedestrian crashes in 1992, but it was estimated that bullbar involvement could be as high as 20%, due to the large amount of missing information on bull bar status in the Fatality Crash Database.’

Mr Scruby said: "This initiative will save countless lives and limbs. We now look forward to all the other states and territories following the NSW example. In the meantime, we will be calling upon the NSW Minister for Police, the Hon Paul Whelan, to ensure that the NSW Police Service is immediately informed of these safety standards so they can issue defect notices where appropriate. As a matter of urgency, we are appealing to police to “target” the backyard “killer bullbars” which have become the B&S/jackeroo utility cult icon and vehicles fitted with lethal protruding attachments such as knife-like fishing-rod holders (see attached photos or visit: https://www.walk.com.au/pedestriancouncil/Page.cfm?PageID=130 ).