An increase in road deaths defies world trend

Southeast Asia is one of the few parts of the world where road fatalities are on the rise.

Aged fleets and rapidly growing car use in these areas are key reasons.

The formation of an Asean NCAP crash testing programme is likely to improve the situation, with the first of seven crash tests for the region carried out last week in Malaysia.

It is part of the first phase of the Asean NCAP crash testing programme, putting each car through a frontal offest test at 64km/h, following the Ancap (Australasian new car assessment programme) test protocol.

Establishing the organisation, and its purpose-built crash test centre in Malacca was identified as a key objective of Global NCAP in the United Nation's Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020).

"This first test is a step towards improving road safety in the Aeean region," said ANCAP chief Nicholas Clarke.

"Over 100,000 lives are lost each year as a result of road fatalities in Asean countries and with the rapid increase in motorisation in this region the situation will only worsen unless action is taken."

"As part of the Decade, Ancapa has assisted with the establishment of Asean NCAP providing technical and program support and advice to ensure the Asean programme pursues protocols and procedures that will provide meaningful, accurate, repeatable and reliable test results. The results yielded by Asean NCAP testing will raise consumer awareness in the region and ensure motor vehicle safety standards are elevated."

Phase I of the Asean NCAP test programme will cover the Ford Fiesta, Honda City, Hyundai i10, Nissan March, Perodua MyVi, Proton Saga and Toyota Vios.

"While road fatalities in developed countries are generally decreasing, they are on the rise across the Asean region. We're already seeing this new Asean test programme put pressure on manufacturers to supply safer vehicles, and simple technologies such as anti-lock brakes (ABS) for motorcycles will also help combat the toll," Clarke said.

Results from the testing will be available next year.