A draft Regulation Impact Statement calling for public consultation and feedback on mandating the use of Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS) has been signed. It examined whether the Federal Government should adopt the policy change as a new Australian Design Rule.

Australian Design Rules are mandatory national vehicle standards under the Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 that align with international vehicle regulations.

Vision Australia has been leading an advocacy campaign to introduce the use of external noise-emitting devices for electric vehicles at low speed, as electric vehicles can pose a particular risk for blind and low vision pedestrians, who rely on sound such as vehicular noise to navigate roads independently and safely. They have reported feeling vulnerable near electric vehicles, with more than one in three participants in a Vision Australia and Monash University Accident Research Centre report saying they have had a collision or near-collision with one.

Most major vehicle markets, including the EU, UK, Japan, Korea, China and the US, have mandated the fitting of AVAS to electric vehicles.

The Federal Government wants to hear from people and businesses in the community. Views can be shared via the email campaigns@visionaustralia.org to be included in Vision Australia’s submission.

Photo: NDIS Minister Bill Shorten, VA manager Chris Edwards with Eva, Senator Carol Brown and John Barlow with Jazzy.