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Roadshow Promotes Life-Saving Vehicle Technology

‘Future Fleet’ Roadshow Promotes Life-Saving Vehicle Technology

ACC and Land Transport New Zealand have joined forces to promote vehicle technologies, like ESC, that could save more than forty lives a year if fitted in every vehicle.

The two organisations are hosting a series of four vehicle technology events around the country, starting today in Auckland. The roadshow then moves to Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch over the next week.

The ‘Future Fleet Roadshow’ will target fleet buyers and companies who buy their own work cars, because 70% of new cars are purchased for the work fleet. These cars are typically re-sold into the general fleet within a few years.

``Today’s company car is tomorrow’s family car, and encouraging fleet buyers to select the safest and most sustainable cars will help to raise the standard of our entire fleet, even within a few years,’’ ACC Chief Executive, Dr Jan White said.

``It’s been proven that technologies like Electronic Stability Control (ESC) can reduce by a third the number of ‘loss of control’ crashes in which drivers are injured. Curtain airbags also significantly reduce injury and death. So choosing a car with these safety features will have enormous benefits,’’ Dr White said.

Put simply, ESC is an onboard computer with sensors that detect when the driver is losing control of the vehicle, or going into a ‘skid.’ The computer then brakes on individual wheels and reduces the throttle to bring the vehicle back under control.

A new Monash University study of loss of control crashes in NZ and Australia found that ESC reduced the risk of single-vehicle crashes involving driver injury by 32%.

During the year to March 2007 there were 127 deaths from loss of control crashes on New Zealand roads. If ESC had been fitted in the cars involved it’s estimated that 40 lives could have been saved - about 10% of the total annual road toll.

So far this year (November 23) 361 people have been killed on New Zealand’s roads, while nearly 7500 people have been injured.

Over 70 cars that have met the highest standards of safety, fuel economy, reduced emissions and performance will be on display at the Future Fleet Roadshow. An ESC simulator has also been shipped from Australia so roadshow visitors can experience the effectiveness of ESC first-hand.

Land Transport New Zealand Chief Executive Wayne Donnelly said the standards of new cars purchased today would influence safety and environmental outcomes for a generation.

``A new car purchased today will stay on our roads the next 20 years. Every new vehicle entering our fleet now without the best safety and sustainability technology available is an opportunity lost for New Zealand. If we choose vehicles wisely now it will pay dividends for years to come.’’

The Future Fleet roadshows have been rated carbon neutral and are certified by Landcare Research’s carboNZero programme.

ENDS

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