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Leading South Australian not-for-profit organisation, Uniting Communities, has become the first in the country to start displaying 5-star ANCAP safety ratings on its entire fleet of owned and operated cars, highlighting its safety commitment to employees, clients and the community.

ANCAP Safety is Australasia’s leading independent vehicle safety authority. To achieve the maximum 5-star ANCAP safety rating, vehicles must perform to the highest level across crash tests and assessments.

Lee Sauerwald, Executive Manager Corporate Services, Uniting Communities and Vice President of the Australasian Fleet Management Association said that safety was of paramount importance given the United Communities staff travel more than two million kilometres every year and run more than 90 community service programs.

“Safety legislation deems a vehicle as part of the workplace. The safety of our staff and clients is paramount – just as we provide a safe workplace in our offices, our cars also need to have the highest levels of safety possible,” he said.

“As an organisation focused on providing a safe working environment for our employees, clients and the community, we are making the ANCAP safety ratings of our vehicles visible through the inclusion of ANCAP rating labels on the windscreens of all our owned and operated light passenger fleet.”

ANCAP’s safety benchmarks are continually reviewed and improved to encourage the supply of and demand for safer cars.

“Fleets play an instrumental role in improving the safety of our overall community,” James Goodwin, Chief Executive, ANCAP said.

Over half of all new cars sold in Australia are purchased by Fleet Managers for corporations. With such large numbers of these cars on our roads, fleet purchasing has a direct impact on how safe most of Australia’s new and, eventually, second-hand cars are.

“If all Fleet Managers only purchased 5-star ANCAP safety rated vehicles, then over half the cars on Australian roads would be the safest available,” says Mr Sauerwald.

As a peak industry body, AfMA, is responsible for the management of many hundreds of thousands of fleet vehicles throughout Australasia. AfMA’s Annual Fleet Conference, Exhibition and Awards acknowledges excellence in fleet management practices, including an award for Fleet Safety. As AfMA’s Executive Director Mace Hartley sees it you simply can’t put a price on safety when it comes to the fleet.

“We understand the importance of operating a safe fleet and have been recognising those organisations who demonstrate best practice in fleet safety and awarding them accordingly for over 20 years,” Mr Hartley said.

Mr Sauerwald said it was important that those within the fleet management continued to approach their operations with “safety front of mind”.

“Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents are still a harsh reality, however travelling in a 5-star ANCAP safety rated vehicle could save your life,” he said.

“We’re proud to promote this by displaying the 5-star ANCAP label on our fleet vehicles and we strongly encourage other organisations to do the same.”

For more information on vehicle safety ratings, visit the ANCAP Safety Ratings website.