Vehicle standard refresh on the way

Karen Sweeney
Australia's vehicle and road safety standards are set for a refresh with a bill before parliament

Motor vehicle standards introduced nearly 30 years have struggled to keep up with changes in the industry, but they're on the way out.

Legislation passed federal parliament's lower house on Wednesday to introduce a series of new road vehicle standards.

"Ultimately what these bills will mean is safer vehicles, cleaner and more secure vehicles for Australia," government minister Paul Fletcher told parliament.

The provisions include:

* A national register of approved motor vehicles.

* Requiring manufacturers to mark vehicles to protect against theft and rebirthing.

* Giving the federal transport minister the ability to recall any vehicle or vehicle component.

When the original laws were introduced 2500 people were killed on Australia's roads each year, and there were 9.4 million registered cars.

By the end of this year there's expected to be 19 million vehicles on the roads and the annual road toll is below 1300.