Australian Safety Assessment Program (AuSAP)
Aim: To improve knowledge and influence the design and safety of vehicle restraint systems for children with disabilities and medical conditions.
Partners: Funding support provided by the Transport Accident Commission with in-kind support from Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and Britax. MACA has engaged Vehicle Design and Research Pty Ltd to assist with AuSAP.
Years: 2020 - ongoing
Currently, there is very little independent, evidence-based information for families, allied health professionals and organisations about the
safety, performance, and best practice guidance for using special
purpose car seats, harnesses/vests and modified car seats in
Australia. For example, MACA’s national survey results show that over half of
Australian health professionals report they do not have the knowledge
required to address car seating and travel needs for children with
disabilities and medical conditions. In addition, 70% of parents report
never receiving any information on how to safely transport their child.
AuSAP conducts assessments of vehicle restraint options used by children with disabilities and medical conditions, including sled-crash testing where appropriate. This enables MACA to develop product specific information and advice for allied health professionals to support their role in working with children and their families.
AuSAP also aims to expand safe vehicle restraint options by making it easier for organisations to supply and promote products to the Australian market. This will increase the availability of products to meet a range of user needs, and close current product gaps.
In the longer term, MACA’s aim is that providing access to evidence informed information through AuSAP will reduce wait times for children with disabilities to receive an NDIS funded vehicle restraint option.
- Implemented a governance framework for the program, including an expert technical committee and reference group.
- Conducting assessments of a range of special purpose car seats, including sled crash testing, in accordance with the test and assessment protocol.
- Developing advice and tools to communicate AuSAP findings to target audiences. This includes individual Product Guides that incorporate AuSAP findings to support allied health professionals in their prescribing role. Products Guides will be available to those who undertake MACA's training.
Test and Assessment Protocol
The AuSAP Test and Assessment Protocol outlines the testing and assessment requirements for special purpose car seats.
AuSAP aims to identify and meet the transport needs of children with disabilities and medical conditions, and to expand the safe transport options available to these children and their families.
This world-first safety assessment program is funded by the Transport Accident Commission (Victoria). The project is supported by a preeminent project team and NeuRA and Britax crash test facilities.