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Lifesaving technology could become compulsory

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Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) for new and used motorcycles entering the country would become compulsory in a proposed law change that could reduce motorcycle crashes by more than a third.

Consultation on the proposed Land Transport Rule: Light-vehicle Brakes Amendment 2019 begins today.

“ABS is a proven technology that will help save the lives of some of our most at risk road users – motorcyclists,” says Harry Wilson, NZ Transport Agency’s Director Safety and Environment.

“Motorcyclists are overrepresented in crashes on New Zealand roads. Motorcycles make up just four percent of our vehicles, yet motorcyclists were involved in 16.4 percent of fatal crashes between 2013 and 2017. 229 motorcyclists were killed during this time. The impact of this on families, friends and communities across the country is huge.

“International studies suggest ABS could reduce crashes by more than a third. As crashes involving motorcyclists often result in death or serious injury this will have an immediate and significant safety benefit.

“Many countries already have or will be introducing mandatory fitting of ABS on motorcycles. This is a simple step that will make a big difference.”

Compulsory ABS for motorcycles is part of the NZ Government’s new focus on road safety. This includes the development of an ambitious new road safety strategy that will bring further benefits to motorcycle safety.

If approved, the law change would apply to all new-model new motorcycles introduced in New Zealand from 1 November 2019. Current-model new motorcycles and imported used motorcycles would need to have ABS from 1 November 2021.

Under the proposal, ABS would be required for motorcycles over 125cc. ABS or a combined braking system would be required for motorcycles over 50cc, up to and including 125cc.

Several exceptions are proposed including for classic and collectable motorcycles. There would be no requirement to retrofit ABS to existing motorcycles already in use in New Zealand.

Consultation materials and information on how to submit are available on the New Zealand Transport Agency website at:  www.nzta.govt.nz/light-vehicle-brakes-2019(external link)

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