Having a Fleet Policy that stipulates the acquisition of Passenger & Light Commercial Vehicles that have a 5 star ANCAP Safety rating is common throughout most organisations in the Corporate, Government & Not For Profit sectors.
This may have been ‘class leading’ policy 10+ years ago, but today it’s generally taken for granted and regardless, most vehicles sold in these categories meet these high standards.
However, there are exceptions and this was recently demonstrated when ANCAP Safety awarded the new Mitsubishi Express ‘Zero Stars’.
Vehicle safety ratings – A history
The Renault Laguna was the first vehicle to achieve a 5 star rating from ANCAP Safety, way back in 2001. The Subaru Forester followed suit in 2003, while it took Toyota a little longer to deliver 5 stars for Yaris (2005) and Corolla (2007).
In the Light Commercial Vehicles category, Mercedes Benz led the way with the Vito in 2011, followed by Volkswagen Amarok, Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50 in the same year.
ANCAP safety – Raising the bar
ANCAP Safety has consistently increased the level of safety features and performance required to achieve these ratings, since they began in 1993. These days they increase the breadth and stringency of ratings criteria/protocols approximately every two years.
Since January 2018, ANCAP Safety has aligned their assessment criteria to that of Euro NCAP (the equivalent European agency) which were previously more stringent.
This means that all vehicles rated by ANCAP are evaluated against four key areas of assessment:
- Adult Occupant Protection
- Child Occupant Protection
- Vulnerable Road User Protection
- Safety Assist
A range of assessments are conducted for each key area, with the vehicle required to meet minimum score thresholds for each star rating level.
Importantly, these ratings have a validity period of 6 years.
Latest ANCAP safety policy
To bring existing ANCAP Safety Ratings (which pre-date the introduction of the current 6 year period of validity) in line with current policies, ANCAP has now amended their Application of Star Ratings Protocol.
From December 2022, vehicles which hold a current ANCAP Safety Rating with a datestamp of 2017 or earlier will begin to expire – see following table for details.
|ANCAP RATING ‘DATESTAMP’||RATING EXPIRY DATE|
|2015 or earlier||31 December 2022|
|2016||31 December 2023|
|2017||31 December 2024|
Fleet policy considerations/gaps
So how is this all relevant to organisation Fleet Policy?
Implementing and adhering to good Fleet Policy is about investing in your employees, as well as managing organisation risk and ensuring adherence to compliance requirements.
Importantly, the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 provides a framework to protect the health, safety and welfare of all workers – placing a ‘Duty Of Care’ on employers to provide a ‘safe workplace’ for employees, and that includes motor vehicles.
Yet when conducting Fleet Reviews for various organisations, it’s often the case that the Fleet Policy was written many years ago and does reflect either industry best practice, or in many cases the current business practice.
Vehicle Safety is just one of the areas of concern, as it is too often neglected as a criterion for vehicle replacement. The focus on ‘sweating’ assets by retaining them for as long as possible often overrides commitments to improving Driver Safety through the purchase of safer vehicles, which continue to evolve substantially courtesy of the higher levels of specification.
Accordingly, you may like to ask yourself whether your organisation is appropriately planning and implementing ‘best practice’ in its Fleet Policy and practice:
- What Vehicle Safety guidelines do you have in your Fleet Policy?
- Is your Fleet Policy being adhered to in practice?
- Are any vehicles that are less than 5 stars safety rated being disposed of as a priority in your replacement schedule?
- Is your organisation relying on Safety Ratings that are no longer valid?
- Does the policy include reference to mobile phone use, a drug and alcohol policy etc?
- Do your employees sign a Driver Acknowledgement of their responsibilities?
Free fleet policy assessment
For a limited time, Fleet Advisory is offering to undertake a free assessment of Fleet Policy for Fleet Auto News subscribers. A report will be provided as a result, giving valuable insight for your consideration.
To take up the offer, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to provide contact details for the review. Fleet Advisory will then make contact to make the necessary arrangements for the assessment to be conducted and a report compiled for your reference.