THE BRAKE testing system commonly used for annual vehicle safety inspections in Australia and New Zealand is not safe for road users, because it routinely gives a pass mark to weak and faulty braking systems.

This was the finding of a recent Adelaide University study, which showed a car with both rear brakes disabled could easily pass the common decelerometer brake test.

That’s despite the fact its stopping distance was increased by 30 percent or 8.1 metres compared with a correctly functioning braking system.

(The test didn’t even detect that the rear brakes weren’t working!)

A further test with the front brakes limited to 66 percent of maximum brake pressure increased stopping distance by 45.8 percent or 12.3 metres.

Surely the car didn’t pass this brake test? It certainly did.

These tests were conducted as part of an in-depth study by the University of Adelaide Centre for Automotive Safety Research, with the support of the Commonwealth Government.

The study measured the ability of four brake testing methods to detect mechanical or hydraulic brake faults.

It compared the most common type of test – a decelerometer brake test – as well as a roller tester, a plate brake tester, and the stopping distance test.

A Safe T Stop plate brake tester was used, as the only Australian designed and manufactured plate brake testing system.

Pass and fail marks were based on the minimum brake performance criteria from the NSW Authorised Inspection Scheme, which are similar to those in other states and territories, and in New Zealand.


Only the Safe T Stop plate brake testing system detected all the brake problems and correctly issued a ‘fail’ result every time.

One extreme test saw front brakes limited to 54 percent of maximum brake pressure, which increase stopping distance from 80km/h by 73.5 percent – that’s 19.8 metres, or more than four car lengths!

You guessed it! Another pass with flying colours based on a decelerometer test.

It was only with the rear brakes disabled AND the front brakes limited to 66 percent of maximum brake pressure that the decelerometer finally offered a ‘fail’ result…

This independent study is the first of its kind globally in more than 30 years.

Yes, that’s right. There hasn’t been academic research into the effectiveness of brake tests since before we had ABS; we’re still using the same technology to test brakes as before we had traction control, GPS or mobile phones.

The decelerometer brake test gave a pass mark to weak and faulty brake systems that replicated common conditions, including seized calipers, blocked hoses, faulty proportioning valves, air in the system and master cylinder problems.

And all but one type of test failed to detect faults that were present.

And the conclusions?

According to the University of Adelaide Centre for Automotive Safety Research, “the (Safe T Stop) plate brake tester was considered to offer the most comprehensive report on a vehicle’s brakes and identified brake faults that reduced stopping power and caused left to right imbalance on either axle.

“By measuring the front to rear brake force balance, the plate brake tester identified when the rear brakes were severely compromised, but the vehicle still provided a relatively high overall deceleration,” the study concluded.

You KNOW you’re safe with Safe T Stop.

“When my car came back from a service, there was included a little book with a printout of diagnostics…using imagery and including a picture of my car”…”this was awesome! I’ve never had this kind of information before, let alone in such a readable and understanding way – really, really great 😊”

– City Mazda, Melbourne

“additional $29 fee which most customers gladly accept, especially … extended tyre life and safety benefits”

– Rincap Automotive, Milperra, NSW

“Everyone can CHECK brakes, but only with SafeTstop can we TEST brakes with a measurable result.”

– Rolfe Honda, ACT

“SafeTstop is a confidence builder for us and for our customers”…. “would benefit any workshop seeing 5 vehicles a day or upwards”

– Threeway Motors, Pio Pio, New Zealand

“The team at SafeTstop … manufacture … deliver, install it, train our staff … and support it into the future. It really is an end to end solution and makes the whole experience straightforward and simple to implement”

– Kedron Kia

“…a compelling business case we could not ignore.”

– Audi, Burwood, Victoria

“Our accountant recently looked at our ROI and was very happy … the extra profits generated easily cover the monthly repayments and … healthy profit for me”

– RAS Pacific Garage, Ballina, NSW

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    Based on 20 reviews
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    Wendy Bieder
    Wendy Bieder
    09:23 27 Jul 22
    When you want the best , look... no further. Amazing system and incredibly accurate.Can’t wait to run my caravan over the machine .read more
    Gary Tansley
    Gary Tansley
    07:26 08 Jan 22
    Great service with a quality... productread more
    22:05 30 Nov 21
    The people at Safe-T-Stop... have been over the past few years EXCEPTIONAL and the device itself (plate brake/suspension tester) to all intents and purposes infallible. On the rare occasions the unit has broken down, service has been remarkably fast. Annual servicing of the unit has been done professionally and always on time. Frankly, i wish more businesses and tools were all this more
    Chris Mullins
    Chris Mullins
    06:22 30 Nov 21
    Good job as agreed
    Thomas Reber
    Thomas Reber
    21:55 16 Nov 20
    I've dealt with SafeTStop... support team on 3 occasions and I must say they are incredibly helpful, I have been talked to by their NSW team from VIC over the phone about how to replace components and other required calibrations. Many thanks to Denise for my most recent concern which was resolved quickly with excellent customer more
    Tim Lhuede
    Tim Lhuede
    11:47 10 Sep 20
    Great product and support.... This machine has unreal ROI. It's been 3 weeks and it looks to pay itself off in 6 months (small shop 4 mechanics)One regret, I didn't invest in it sooner. Cannot recommend enough.Customers love it!read more
    Pulse Automotive
    Pulse Automotive
    00:55 19 Nov 19
    Best piece of workshop... equipment I have purchased. Fantastic team to deal with & great more
    Nicholas Valassis
    Nicholas Valassis
    02:56 21 Sep 19
    Installation was easy with no... interruption to the business. A very powerful tool that is crucial to have these days with our complex braking systemsread more
    Ebbett Volkswagen
    Ebbett Volkswagen
    02:33 28 Aug 19
    Fantastic product, and great... after-sales support. The platetronic tester gives our customers security in knowing that their vehicles are being tested at a high level for brake imbalance, forces, and for steering geometry readings. Highly more
    Andrew Gadea
    Andrew Gadea
    05:08 22 Aug 19
    Excellent service from Denise... and the team. Installation was great and the SafeTStop equipment is great for our more
    Craig Baills
    Craig Baills
    01:47 18 Aug 19
    I did not realise the value... of Safe T Stop until we invested in one and had it installed. This piece of equipment would be number 1 as the most productive tool in the workshop as well as being accurate in its testing and diagnosis. Safe T Stop makes diagnosing and testing brakes and suspension easy and simplified with pin point accuracy. Highly recomend it for any more
    09:35 12 Aug 19
    We at DRC AUTOMOTIVE had a... safetstop installed at our workshop and think it’s a great piece of equipment, every car that is serviced in our shop is driven over the safetstop to check and know it’s leaving with all brakes working as they should. We never realised how important this equipment is and what we have found when using it.Also the team at safetstop have always been great and would highly recommend to any other workshops Dion Clayton/ DRC Automotiveread more
    Peter Forrester
    Peter Forrester
    10:11 05 Jul 19
    PipeWolf Media
    PipeWolf Media
    05:40 03 Jun 19
    We had the pleasure of... filming a video for Safe-T-Stop and were so impressed by how well received their product is among their customers. The staff are so friendly and passionate about what they do. The Safe-T-Stop system really is amazing - we became instant more
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