Tougher vehicle restrictions needed in Australia after tourist death: official

14:01, December 14, 2009      

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Queensland's Transport Minister of the Australian state government Rachel Nolan says tougher vehicle restrictions may be needed following the death of a Japanese tourist in a four-wheel drive rollover, the Australian Associated Press reports on Monday.

The accident took place on Fraser Island in Queensland, a hired landcruiser was overloaded with eight Japanese tourists aboard, overturned on the island's Eastern Beach about 9:40 a.m. on Sunday, killing a male passenger and injuring three women and four men as it overturned on the island.

Days before the accident, the state government postponed the new 4WD safety measures because the industry needed more time to comply.

However, Nolan expressed overloading was not the core problem in this case, and that the vehicle would have been compliant with the new measures.

The number of people allowed in a hired 4WD drive was supposed to be reduced from 11 to seven by the end of the year but Nolan increased it to eight following consultations with the industry. Only forward-facing seats were going to be allowed but now rear-facing seats would also be approved.

The laws were to be introduced by Christmas but Nolan has delayed the rollout until April 2010.

Source: Xinhua
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