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Safety assessment program

Explore the Australian safety assessment program (AuSAP), which assesses restraint systems used by children with disabilities and medical conditions.
(air whooshes) -Parents of children with disabilities are welcoming a crucial study into safer car seats and restraints. For one Melbourne mum, it takes away one of the biggest hassles for her son who’s living with cerebral palsy. Mimi Becker reports. -Six year old Jerome lives with disabilities. And like any parent, Chris just wants to keep him safe, especially in the car. -It shouldn’t be that hard to get this. -We take for granted as parents having car seats in the car that are safe for our kids. And parents of kids with disabilities often don’t have that privilege. -Now the state government has partnered with not for profit MACA and the TAC to conduct groundbreaking research into specially purposed car seats.
-And this is a gap we want to bridge through this groundbreaking research. -Crash testing has already begun in Melbourne’s west and the early results are staggering. Despite being strapped in, this dummy is not well protected. -And we will be examining the strengths and limitations of nine special purposed child restraints imported into Australia. -With no current guidelines parents are left to do their own research. -We just thought that we may be able to use any of this car seat until we saw him struggling with his head. -All kids are entitled to be safe in our cars. We’re delighted to be part of this world first initiative.
-Industry research shows more than half of parents say their children have broken free from the restraint. While 10% have escaped the car onto the road. The new development set to bring peace of mind for parents all over the world. -He will feel comfortable, and we will feel confident that he is nice and safe when traveling. -Mimi Becker 9News.

The Australian Safety Assessment Program (AuSAP) is an independent world first program driving global advancements in knowledge and safety of vehicle restraint systems used by children with disabilities and medical conditions.

AUSAP text on green background

Established in 2020, by MACA, with funding support from the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, AuSAP is supported by an Expert Technical Committee, with in-kind contributions from Britax Childcare and Neuroscience Research Australia.

The program assesses vehicle restraint systems (including sled-crash testing) and aims to improve global knowledge and influence the design and safety of restraint systems for children with disabilities and medical conditions.

NeuRA crash test sled

The Transurban Road Safety Centre at NeuRA is Australia’s only research-dedicated crash test lab.

AuSAP’s test and assessment protocol uses some criteria from the Australian standard for child restraints, and is setting a new benchmark for vehicle restraint systems used by children with disabilities and medical conditions.

AuSAP findings are shared with suppliers and overseas manufacturers with the aim of stimulating improved design and safety.

AuSAP participants

Program participants include specialist Australian suppliers, supported by global manufacturers, of vehicle restraint systems for children with disabilities and medical conditions.

AuSAP participants are strongly committed to working together to advance the safety, performance and product design requirements to best meet the unique needs of our most vulnerable road users.

AuSAP assessment in progress

Image by David Paine, Vehicle Design and Research 2021

AuSAP product guides

The program informs the development of independent product guides for each product to support allied health professionals, industry and government in their respective roles prescribing, supplying and funding these restraint systems.

Your task

task list and pen

Watch the channel nine news story about AuSAP and share your thoughts in the comments about how you think this program supports and benefits children and families.

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Transporting Children with Disabilities and Medical Conditions

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