Australia Leads on New Vehicle Crash Standard

Media Release


11 December 2013

An Australian-led crash standard that will reduce deaths and injuries in motor vehicle side impact crashes has been agreed by the United Nations World Forum on the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations.

The Global Technical Regulation on Pole Side Impact (GTR) sets performance criteria for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in a pole side impact crash test.

The GTR will improve protection for occupants in all side impacts, not just those with trees or poles, as the performance criteria will require effective safety measures such as curtain side airbags, thorax airbags and better crash sensors.

The GTR is the first vehicle regulation to make use of the World Side Impact Dummy, the most advanced side impact crash dummy in the word, which closely emulates the behaviour of the human body ensuring performance criteria are rigorous.

Side impacts currently account for over 20 per cent of Australian road deaths, and Monash University Accident Research Centre has estimated that the GTR will save nearly 700 lives in Australia over a 30 year period as well as avert approximately 800 traumatic brain injuries.

The GTR will have major benefits globally, particularly in countries where side impact crashes are common.

Australia is progressively harmonising its vehicle standards with international standards agreed by the World Forum. This removes trade barriers and ensures that the safest and most environmentally friendly vehicles are available to Australians at the lowest possible cost.

This is the first time Australia has led development of an international vehicle regulation. With increasing harmonisation of world standards, it is important that Australia is an influential player in shaping vehicle standards so that safety issues that are significant for Australia are addressed.

Work will now proceed to incorporate the GTR into Australia's national standards for motor vehicles, the Australian Design Rules.

A copy of the GTR with background information is available at:

A copy of Monash University Accident Research Centre's report on the benefits of the GTR is available at: