Minister for Transport

Minister for Roads



Thursday 8 August 2002

Australian Transport Ministers Agree To Changes For New 4wd Vehicles
The Australian Transport Council today reached in principle agreement to investigate a range of changes affecting new four wheel drive vehicles.

The NSW Minister for Roads, Mr Carl Scully, said the agreement would ensure a coordinated, Australia-wide approach to making the vehicles safer.

"The Council gave in principle agreement to the Australian Design Rules being altered to mandate the fitting of reverse alarms and back mirrors on new large four wheel drive vehicles," Mr Scully said.

"New South Wales agreed to take the lead on this issue and report back to the Australian Transport Council.

"ATC noted that a national standard for bull bars was close to being finalized and expressed a view that the standard should be progressed as soon as possible.

"The size and shape of a bull bar attached to a large four wheel drive can significantly affect the severity of a collision with another vehicle or pedestrian," Mr Scully said.

"Improved design will help address these issues while still affording rural four wheel drivers protection.

"The Council also agreed that research will be commissioned by NSW into the road safety issues associated with novice drivers in large four wheel drive vehicles.

"The size and weight of large four wheel drives can make them harder to handle for novice drivers. More research is needed to determine if additional training is required for novice drivers of larger four wheel drive vehicles," Mr Scully said.

Media contact; Phillip Kelly (02) 9228 4455 or 0419 411218.
PCA comment:

At the Australian Transport Council, attended by all Australian state Roads and Transport Ministers, a Joint Communiqué was of 8 August 2002 - NZ

Four Wheel Drive (4WD) Safety (QUOTE):

“Ministers requested that a national standard for bull bars be developed as soon as possible and that following its development states and territories consider the issue of penalties for driving a vehicle with a non-compliant bull bar.”

On 23 September 2002, the Chairman of the PCA, Mr Harold Scruby called on all state and territory governments to adopt the new “bullbar” Australian Standard - AS 4876.1-2002 - Motor vehicle frontal protection system”.

See Media Release:

Over a year later, (16 October 2003), nothing has changed.