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Mandatory ESC will improve road safety

Hon Michael Woodhouse

Associate Minister of Transport

10 July 2014

Media Statement
Mandatory ESC will improve road safety

Associate Transport Minister Michael Woodhouse has today announced the timetable for the introduction of mandatory electronic stability control (ESC) for cars imported to New Zealand.

Mr Woodhouse has signed a new Land Transport Rule that will phase in mandatory ESC for all new and used light passenger and goods vehicles entering the New Zealand fleet.

“ESC has been described by the New Zealand Automobile Association and many road safety experts as the most significant advance in vehicle safety since the seatbelt,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“The increase in ESC fitment over the next two decades is expected to prevent 432 deaths and 1,992 serious injuries, including 22 deaths and 102 serious injuries prevented as a direct result of the proposal to mandate.”

ESC is a crash prevention system that intervenes if it detects that a vehicle is about to skid or lose traction. It is able to independently control the braking of each wheel to correct the vehicle and pull it back into line if it is skidding out of control.

Vehicles coming into New Zealand will be required to have ESC as follows:

o all new class MA, MB, MC and NA light passenger and goods vehicles certified for entry into service from 1 July 2015

o used class MC vehicles (four-wheel-drive SUVs and off-road vehicles) inspected at the border from 1 March 2016

o used class MA vehicles (passenger cars) with engine capacity greater than 2 litres inspected at the border from 1 March 2018

o all other used class MA, MB and NA light passenger and goods vehicles inspected at the border from 1 March 2020

“I am confident this timetable will ensure New Zealand consumers receive maximum safety benefits from the new technology, without choking supply from the imported used car market.’’

In mandating ESC, New Zealand will be joining the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia and the European Union who have also introduced mandatory ESC for new light passenger vehicles.

More information can be found here: www.transport.govt.nz/ourwork/land/electronic-stability-control

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