Some time ago the Federal Government proposed adopting the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Regulation GTR-09 on pedestrian safety. This proposal was subsequently withdrawn. The ‘Neurotics of the World Unite' crowd have been attempting to have bull bars banned for years and this presented the feds with an excuse to please another pressure group.
Presumably the government felt that it was reasonable to adopt European standards on this matter. After all, the people of England, France, Germany, Holland, and Spain would naturally have a deep understanding of animal strikes and the risks involved in hitting roos, scrubber cattle, camels, wild pigs, and brumbies out in the wilder more remote regions of their countries.
Lets face it, if you want to know about dealing with crocodiles, you naturally ask some environmentally sensitive Tasmanian or Victorian, rather than those knuckle dragging redneck pricks from the north.
In response the Australian 4WD Industry Council has conducted a national survey of bull bar users, which has revealed that 97% of respondents believe that their safety would be compromised if they were unable to fit a bull bar to their vehicles. There were 42,600 individual responses, but the analysis of the study was based on only the 33,620 respondents who completed all questions.
The majority, (73%) of respondents reported animal strikes over the last five years, which means that their views are based on experience and knowledge of the subject. We are advised to consider this in the context of the total Australian road death toll of about 1500 people a year. The figures highlight the fact that animal strike is a very common occurrence for Australian families, particularly those living in regional, rural and remote areas. Some of the figures are as follows:
Consequences of their most severe animal strike in the past five years:
With bull bar = 33% no damage, 54% minor damage, 12% major damage, 0.5% vehicle immobilized.
With no bull bar = 4 % no damage, 29% minor damage, 46% major damage, 20% vehicle immobilized.
Occupant injury resulting from the most severe animal strike in the past five years:
With bull bar = 99.3% no injuries, 0.7% injuries sustained.
No bull bar = 80% no injuries, 20% injuries sustained.
Respondents' views on whether bull bars:
Prevented significant damage to the vehicle in a frontal impact = 99.6% yes.
Prevented significant injury to vehicle occupants in frontal impact = 92% yes.
There is a common misconception by some that most bull bar equipped vehicles never leave cities, (Toorak Trekkers) but 94% of respondents spent at least a week each year travelling in remote parts of Australia. Bull bars were seen as a stable platform for other important safety equipment, including:
84% fitted auxiliary lighting, 80% fitted communications equipment, 58% fitted winches.
To see the report go here, and click the link.