Crashed cars hit the road to promote safety


Vehicles crashed to gain an insight into their safety performance will be on display from Wednesday to Friday this week (8-10 February) in Civic Square, Hamilton (near Garden Place and in front of the Hamilton City Council buildings) as part of an NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) drive to encourage the purchase of safer cars.

The NZTA display is supported by the Hamilton City Council and NZ Police. NZTA staff and Senior
Constable Jeremy Newell from Waikato’s Crash Investigation Unit will be on hand regularly to talk
to people about the importance of choosing the right car from a safety perspective and answer
their questions.

NZTA’s Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield said the display of ANCAP (Australasian New Car
Assessment Programme) crash-test vehicles has been brought over from Australia to highlight how
much better five star safety rated cars protect their passengers in the event of a crash.

‘Choosing safer vehicles is a simple way that individual drivers can reduce deaths and injuries by
keeping themselves and their families safer on the roads,’ says Mr Dangerfield.

“If all New Zealanders drove five star safety rated cars, it’s estimated the road toll could be
reduced by one third. Based on the latest annual road toll, that’s nearly 100 people whose lives
would not have been lost last year alone.”

NZTA Manager, Access and Use, Waikato/Bay of Plenty, David Pearks, agrees. “The Waikato has
experienced a number of crashes where there would have been less fatalities (and/or injury) if
those drivers and their passengers had been in higher rated vehicles.”

The display shows the difference in damage sustained by a three-star rated crash test vehicle (the
Chinese-built Chery J1) and a five-star vehicle (the Hyundai i45) that were crashed in the course of
being ANCAP rated. Visitors will be able to see how the occupants of each car would have fared in
the crash, and information panels encourage people to consider safety ratings the next time
they’re in the market for a new car.

The ANCAP programme involves physically crash testing new vehicles that are on sale in Australia
and New Zealand to produce a star rating on a five point scale. The rating is based on how well the
vehicles protect their occupants and pedestrians in a range of crash situations. Approximately 12-
15 vehicle models per year are tested. Data from the European New Car Assessment Programme is
also used to produce ratings for a large number of additional vehicle models. The NZ Transport
Agency and the New Zealand AA are both members of ANCAP.

The NZTA recently updated its RightCar website which provides a one-stop shop of vehicle
information for people considering buying a new vehicle. It provides information on vehicle safety
ratings, fuel economy and emissions ratings. The RightCar website can be found at link)