REPORT CARD – JANUARY, 2016
Looking back over 2015, it was a big year for the AMEP, the Motoring Advisory Council (MAC) and for the Senator.
One of our aims is to change people’s perceptions about Motoring Enthusiasts, and on this front it has been a huge year for the AMEP. We smile every time we read or hear somebody comment on how Ricky and the AMEP (‘Motoring Enthusiasts’) have surprised them with their sensible, well balanced approach. Ka-ching… This helps to change stereotypes.
There is no doubt that over the past year our voice has been heard by Government. The number of submissions the MAC (Motoring Advisory Council) has submitted on behalf of the AMEP and the Motoring Enthusiast Community has been impressive, and we take this opportunity to thank the individuals, Groups and Associations that contributed. Our policy of working together has encouraged co-operation across all sectors and provides expert knowledge and experience.
The MAC was called to give evidence at the Senate Inquiry into the Future of the Automotive Industry in Melbourne, and at the Senate Inquiry into Aspects of Road Safety in Sydney. Pete Styles, Chairman of the Motoring Advisory Council, and proud AMEP Member, used every opportunity to reiterate that the motoring enthusiast community are leaders in safe driving practice. The submission and hearing highlighted the need for nationally consistent regulations, better crash data and an education by incentives approach to increase personal responsibility on our roads. Our aim is to have enthusiasts recognised as safe driving leaders.
Road Safety – Better Driver Education
At the Senate Inquiry into Road Safety, the Senators seemed surprised to learn that Motoring Enthusiasts are under-represented in road fatalities and accidents, and have a lot to contribute to the road safety debate. We spoke about respect on the roads, respect for others. We spoke about the need to create better, safer road users, taking more responsibility on the roads. It was obvious there was a need to redefine what ‘driver education’ means to replace out-dated thinking about driver education creating over-confident novice drivers. There is much work to be done in this space but we are starting to see a shift in the political debate around driver education.
We also raised the issue of the need for better crash data to ensure we are focusing in the right areas. Better data will save lives and show the areas that need greater attention (distraction, aggression and driver competence). In today’s technological world, Australia should not fall behind in this area. This approach was well accepted.
Our goal is to move beyond the “speed kills” obsession. We demonstrated to the Inquiry that poor data is skewing the debate towards speed. Rather than tackling the speed debate ‘head on’ like many failed attempts before us, we are taking a more measured approach by calling for better crash data to determine the real causes behind road trauma. Shifting the obsession requires a shift of the evidence we collect. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
More to come on this shortly…
Senate Inquiry –Future of the Auto Industry
As you would recall the Senators Office was influential in calling for a Senate Inquiry into the Future of the Automotive Industry. After various hearings around the country over the past twelve months, the Final Report was handed down in December, 2015.
It was good to see the Final Report recognise the Aftermarket Industry, Motorsport and the motoring enthusiasts sector as significant contributors to the Australian Automotive Industry and the economy.
Motorsport and motoring enthusiast activities are a significant and growing part of the Australian automotive industry
and the economy more broadly, … and should be encouraged to continue.
Motorsport is deeply embedded in Australian culture and it adds to community cohesion and development.
The Motoring Advisory Council put forward that a seamless national approach to vehicle standards can reduce costs incurred by business and enthusiasts in complying with unnecessary and inconsistent regulations across jurisdictions. The full growth potential both domestically and internationally can be unlocked with sensible nationally consistent regulatory reform.
A regulatory and compliance solution to improve national consistency based on existing frameworks was put forward by the MAC. [For more information click here] - Our aim is to see a positive flow on effect for enthusiasts through sensible regulations.
We have been pushing the National Consistency message for some time now and the good news is that it was picked up as one of the recommendations to come out of the Senate Inquiry into the Future of the Automotive Industry.
5.32 The committee recommends that the government, through the Council of Australian Governments, pursue reform options to harmonise vehicle modification regulations and adopt a consistent national approach to compliance and enforcement with vehicle regulations. A critical part of this work will be the harmonisation of emerging federal, state and territory legislation and regulations designed to deal with the arrival of autonomous vehicles and driving systems.
More info – Applying National Consistency to grow industry
Another recommendation from the Senate Inquiry was to develop an Automotive Taskforce to develop and implement the recommendations from the Inquiry. We will keep working to ensure we have a voice on this Taskforce.
There were several other recommendations to come out of the Inquiry that we supported, such as the need to ensure suitable access to manufacturer information by independent automotive service and repair businesses, and the call for an independent inquiry into the smash repair industry.
Full Report can be seen here
Australasian Road Safety Conference – October, 2015
With a theme of “Working Together”, AMEP attended the Australasian Road Safety Conference, after our Synopsis on Personal Responsibility and the need for better Drive Education was accepted. We had the opportunity to present at a Session - “Road Safety…Who’s Responsibility is it”, where there was a panel of road safety experts to expand on the discussion.
Our message was simple – “We can’t take the human element out of the road safety. There is a need to move towards developing a safe driving culture in Australia – cultural change is going to be needed to produce better road safety outcomes.
As silly as this sounds, the human factor is not being considered anywhere near enough in our current National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS). The NRSS is based on the safe system, were it works on the premise that even the most competent human will make mistakes, so we need to provide a ‘safe system’ to be forgiving of those mistakes. To date most of the focus by Road Safety Experts has been on the vehicle, the road, the speeds and removing drivers with technology advancements.
Everybody certainly knew that the “Motoring Enthusiasts” were at the Conference, and whilst there were a few Road Safety experts who did not agree with us, there were many like-minded individuals and groups that did. By the end of the conference even the most grounded experts were shifting their thinking towards our message. Somewhat surprisingly, we were all unanimous on the need to collect better crash data.
The best thing about the Conference was the networking opportunity, and our focus will be to work with these groups and individuals where we can over the coming year. Strength in numbers…
Stay tuned… more to come in this space.
We will continue to work to protect the enthusiast lifestyle as part of the Australian Motoring culture. As always, and in keeping with our policy of inclusion, if you would like to contribute to the AMEP, please do not hesitate to contact us.