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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4597

Dr Everingham asked the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice:

(I)   In which States and Territories, and from what date in each case, have (a) crash helmets, (b) safety belts and (c) other items of protective clothing or bodily restraints been required for users of (i) aircraft, (ii) motor cycles and (iti) other vehicles.

(2)   What action has he taken or does he propose to take to initiate legislation or to discuss legislative proposals with the States in regard to (a) the matters referred to in part (1) of the question, (b) coroners being required to investigate safety factors in road fatalities as thoroughly as in aircraft fatalities, (c) licensing standards for surface vehicles being comparable to those for aircraft and (d) penalties on unsafe vehicle manufacturers being comparable with penalties on unsafe drug manufacturers.

Mr Nixon - The answer to the honour able member's question is as follows: (1) (a) Crash Helmets

(i)   Aircraft - not applicable

(ii)   Motor Cycles- compulsory wearing of safety helmets by rider and pillion passenger effective as below:

New South Wales - 1st ' August 1971

Victoria - 1st January 1961

Queensland- 22nd October 1970 South Australia - 31st December 1967

Western Australia- 20th April 1971

Tasmania - 15th January 1967

Australian Capital Territory - Approved in principle and legislation being prepared. Northern Territory - 24th June 1968

(iii)   Other vehicles--not applicable Cb) Safety Belts

(i)   Aircraft- regulation 244" (1) of the Air Navigation Regulations' applies to all Australian registered 1 aircraft regardless of area of operation, lt requires seat belts to be worn by all crew members and passengers -

(a)   during take off and landing; -

(b)   during, instrument approaches;

(c)   when an aircraft is flying at less than 1000 feet above the terrain; and

(d)   at all times during turbulent weather.

Commonwealth legislation in this regard first became effective on 10th August 1947.

(ii)   Motor cycles - not applicable (itf) Other Vehicles

The Australian Design Rules for Motor Vehicle Safety specify that seat belts be provided in new vehicles from the dates set out below: From 1st January 1969- front seats of all passenger cars and derivatives. From 1st January 1970 - front seats of all motor vehicles except motor cycles, omnibuses,' specially constructed vehicles, and vehicles exceeding 10,000 lbs gross vehicle weight. From 1st January 1971 - rear seals of all motor vehicles except motor cycles, omnibuses, specially constructed vehicles, and vehicles exceeding 10,000 lbs gross vehicle weight

From 1st July 1971 Victoria requires that all passenger vehicles manufactured from 1951 to 1968 inclusive be fitted with seat belts for the driver and left side passenger before reregistration or transfer of registration. Compulsory wearing of seat bells was introduced as follows: New South Wales- 1st October 1971

Victoria - 1st January 1971

Tasmania- '15th September 1971 Legislation is being prepared in South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

(c)   Other items of protective clothing or bodily restraints Head Restraints

The Australian Transport Advisory Council has recommended to Commonwealth and State Governments that all passenger cars and derivatives thereof manufactured on or after 1st January 1972 shall be equipped with head restraints.

(2)   1 will continue lo work in conjunction with my colleagues on die Australian Transport Advisory Council towards the 'construction of safer vehicles and the implementation of controls over the operational standards of vehicles.

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