CANBERRA, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- Australia's high road toll could be reduced if Australians are encouraged to drive newer cars, the Australian Automobile Association has said on Thursday.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the average age of vehicles registered for road use in Australia was 10.1 years at Jan. 31, 2017, meaning the average car on the road does not feature modern safety equipment such as autonomous breaking, and lane-keep assist.
According to Michael Bradley, chief executive of the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), this means that more people are getting into fatal accidents. He told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) radio that newer cars feature more mandatory safety features, which in turn lead to fewer fatal crashes.
"As a general rule, older cars are more dangerous cars," Bradley said on Thursday.
"If you go and buy a new vehicle today, it will probably come with technologies like the lane-keep assist, or some sort of autonomous breaking.
"These technologies are there because they save lives."
So far in 2017, 1,094 people have died on Australian roads.
Bradley said the government could be doing more to get more Australians into newer cars, and called for a tax which was only introduced to ensure Australian-made cars were cheaper than overseas-built models to be removed.
"The Australian government still collects about 5 billion Australian dollars (3.9 billion U.S. dollars) worth of taxes and tariffs, over the forward estimates, to protect the Australian car manufacturing industry.
"And, as we all know, the Australian car manufacturing industry doesn't exist anymore, yet the (tax) still does.
"The most important thing that we could do is get Australian motorists into newer, safer vehicles."