The Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Dimensions and Mass 2016 will come into effect on 1 February 2017.
The changes to the operating environment that the new rule introduces are intended to enable the sector to make good decisions regarding productivity, efficiency and compliance says Leigh Mitchell, National Manager Direction at the NZ Transport Agency.
“The new Rule was created as the result of a review of the VDAM Rule 2002, with the intent to make it fit for purpose, and to set a reasonable balance between road safety, productivity and protecting our road infrastructure,” Ms Mitchell says.
Small changes throughout the Rule impact all aspects of the heavy vehicle sector and it’s important that people familiarise themselves with the Rule itself.
Ms Mitchell says much thought was given to modernising the Rule, making it less complex and providing clarity on roles and responsibilities. This makes the Rule easier to follow as the main source of regulation information.
The new rule provides a further opportunity for operators to continue the updating of their fleets to utilise vehicles that are safer and more technologically advanced – helping to position the sector for a future that encompasses growing freight and passenger requirements. Being able to carry more in fewer trips is just one advantage that the VDAM Rule 2016 offers.
“The new Rule is designed to help meet the demands that various parts of the industry are experiencing and also facilitate efficiency improvements in selected areas while keeping safety first and foremost,” says Ms Mitchell.
Revised tolerances for gross and axle mass limits are in place to ensure operators remain compliant and help maintain safety on the road. All mass tolerances are now consolidated in the updated Land Transport (Offences and Penalties) Regulations 1999. The changes to weighing tolerances reflect the accuracy of modern weighing techniques and technologies.
The Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit of the NZ Police (CVIU) has updated their enforcement processes and procedures to reflect these regulation changes.
The VDAM Rule 2016 is applicable across a broad range of job roles and requirements in the heavy vehicle sector, from operators, to pilots, to importers and entry certifiers, to road controlling authorities.
To help understand the changes, the NZ Transport Agency has developed a range of helpful guides and updated collateral that is available at nzta.govt.nz/vdamrule2016 (external link) .