What are ADR or Australian Design Rules and what is the connection with RAWS Compliance

Jack Sandher - Saturday, June 28, 2014

What are the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) and how do they relate to RAWS Compliance 

What are the Australian Design Rules (ADRs)


The ADRs outline national standards for vehicle safety, anti-theft and emissions. They cover issues such as driver and passenger safety, lighting, engine emissions and braking.

They are performance based and follow the Motor Vehicles Act 1989, monitoring both new and old cars, whether they are imported or domestically manufactured.

In order to comply with international standards, the framework for the ADRs is based heavily on regulations provided by the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations.

Vehicles that are manufactured overseas cannot be imported until they follow the protocols of the ADRs.

History of the ADRs


The ADRs underwent two waves of changes; Australia currently complies under the Third Edition of the ADRs.

The First Edition was merely proposed for discussion and was never integrated into practice. However, it is the foundation for the current system.

The Second Edition was introduced and sanctioned on 1 January 1969 and was integrated into national standards in 1989.

The need for the current Third Edition was identified in 1983, in which major changes were made to vehicle safety standards to keep modern and up-to-date with technological change. It became effective in 1988 and created a national uniform standard.

Relation to RAWS Compliance

RAWS must ensure that a vehicle complies with the Australian Design Rules..

A car which fails to be RAWS Compliant or meet the Australian Design Rules not be deemed roadworthy.

While the RAWS arrangements do not normally apply to vehicles manufactured before 1989, all vehicles must comply with ADRs.