Government plans to buy back old cars
A new government scheme aims to take the most dangerous cars off Victorian roads.
RACV has welcomed the Victorian government’s “cash for clunkers” pilot scheme as the first step in taking older unsafe cars off the state’s roads.
The government has announced plans to offer 1000 selected young drivers in regional Victoria cash grants toward the cost of buying newer, safer cars to replace their older vehicles.
RACV has advocated for government incentives to encourage drivers to replace unsafe older vehicles with newer, safer cars. But RACV’s senior engineer vehicles, Nicholas Platt, argues the scheme should be broadened to include drivers in metropolitan Melbourne.
While Transport Accident Commission data shows that half the state’s road deaths in 2018 occurred in regional Victoria, where just 25 per cent of the population lives, Nicholas says city drivers are also at risk in older cars, which often lack proven safety features such as emergency braking and electronic stability control, now commonplace in newer vehicles.
He says older vehicles are over-represented in the state’s road toll. In the five years to 2018, vehicles over 10 years old were involved in almost 60 per cent of fatalities and 55 per cent of serious-injury accidents, although they accounted for just 20 per cent of vehicles on the road.
In addition to the pilot program for young regional drivers, the government also plans to trial offering low-income earners in regional Victoria who are aged over 65 short-term affordable leases on newer, safer cars.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the programs on social media, saying some young motorists owned cars older than they were, and many are driving vehicles that are not equipped with adequate safety features.
“The vehicles produced today are light years from my first car – a red VB Commodore,” said the Premier. “But upgrading isn’t always affordable – particularly if you’ve saved hard for your very first wheels or you’re on a pension.
“Older cars don’t have the safety features we rely on to keep us safer and are over-represented in our crash and fatality statistics. This is about getting them off the road, and supporting those Victorians who need it most.”