RESEARCH results on bullbar geometry back the SA government's decision to introduce a mandatory standard, according to Road Safety Minister Tony Piccolo.
A report from the Centre of Automotive Safety and Research, released on Friday last week, shows bullbars compliant with the Australian Standard can reduce the risk of head injury to a pedestrian by as much as 50 per cent compared to non-compliant designs.
Researcher Sam Doecke said the study looked at the shape of compliant and non-compliant bullbars, and their potential impact on pedestrians.
"Simulative modelling of the pedestrian impact found it makes a big difference to the severity of the head impact," he said.
"A non-compliant bullbar has the initial impact around the pelvis and abdomen, and the higher pivot point increases the head impact.
"Bullbars that conform are at least 50pc less likely to have a serious head injury."
Dr Doecke said a compliant bullbar followed the shape of a vehicle while non-compliant examples went straight up or leant forward at the top.
Mr Piccolo said research backed the decision by the SA government to ban non-compliant bullbars on all vehicles that were built after July 1, 2013.
"The study shows we made a very good decision," he said.
"There is a good balance of road safety outcomes and protecting the vehicle and driver of the vehicle.
"It is possible for bullbars to be relatively pedestrian friendly."
Mr Piccolo said the code had been voluntary since 2003, when the standard was written, and had been readily followed by SA drivers.
* Full report in Stock Journal, October 30, 2014 issue.