On this page

Vision Australia welcomes the federal government’s announcement that Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) will be required when electric vehicles travel at or under 25km/hr.

“Vision Australia has been calling for AVAS to be introduced in Australia since 2018,” said director of government relations, advocacy and NDIS for Vision Australia, Chris Edwards.

This legislation brings Australia into line with international jurisdictions such as the EU, US and Japan, which have long required electric cars to emit safety sounds.

“We are ecstatic and congratulate the current federal government for listening to our concerns and acting on this very important issue as pedestrians who are blind or have low vision will be able to navigate public spaces with more confidence,” Edwards said.

“It’s been a long road, but through persistence and putting the safety of Australia’s blind and low vision community in front of the government, we’ve achieved the result we wanted. We also recognise the proactive step the government has taken in expanding the requirement to include electric trucks, busses and other heavy vehicles.”

Caption: Mandating AVAS for quiet vehicles will make moving around the community safer for Chris Edwards and Eva, his Seeing Eye Dog. 

According to 2018 Vision Australia research, 35% of people who are blind or have low vision have had a collision or near miss with a silent vehicle. Further reporting shows that pedestrian road crashes cost the Australian community over $1.2 billion each year.

“With electric vehicles predicted to make up 90% of Australia’s vehicle fleet by 2050, it's vital there is no delay in the AVAS requirement coming into force,” Edwards said.

“Without this requirement, it would only become harder for people who are blind or have low vision to be active and independent members of the community.

“All pedestrians should have the right to feel safe and confident when navigating public spaces and today’s announcement is a significant step towards protecting that for people who are blind or have low vision. There is no doubt that this is an announcement that will save lives.”

Ron Hooton, Vision Australia CEO, said Vision Australia is proud to have helped bring about change that will benefit the blind and low vision community across Australia.

“This is a historical day for Vision Australia and the entire blind and low vision community. For more than five years, we have been leading the push for the introduction of AVAS to electric vehicles in Australia and we’re proud to have helped play a role in a change that will have immediate benefit for our community,” Ron said.


Further enquiries and interviews:

E: [email protected] or M: +61 416 335 886

E: [email protected] or M +614 4925 4655