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Public comment invited on new Tyres and Wheels rule


The NZ Transport Agency is calling for submissions on proposed changes to the legal requirements for tyres and wheels.

The NZ Transport Agency is calling for submissions on proposed changes to the legal requirements for tyres and wheels.

The draft Tyres and Wheels Amendment Rule is aimed at improving safety and reducing operating costs. The most significant change is a proposal to prohibit the mixing of winter tyres (sometimes known as snow tyres) with other types of tyres on the same vehicle. Winter tyres are made with a softer rubber compound and deeper treads specifically designed to maintain grip in cold weather (below 7C).
The mixing of different types of tyres on the same vehicle can result in different levels of grip on the front and rear axles, which can make the vehicle unbalanced and difficult to control in an emergency or during hard braking. This has been been shown to have been a contributing factor in crashes.
Winter tyres are marked with a ‘snowflake and mountain’ symbol, and should not be confused with the broader category of all-season ‘mud and snow’ tyres which are commonly fitted to 4WD vehicles and marked with the letters ‘M&S’.

The draft rule also proposes:

  • to update and improve the labelling requirements for space-saver tyres
  • to allow greater flexibility in regard to the types of tyre that can be fitted to light goods vehicles, depending on the purpose for which the vehicles are used
  • to require a vehicle inspector to take into account a written statement from a specialist ‘tyre fleet serviceperson’ certifying the safety of radial-ply heavy vehicle tyres to determine if vehicle safety hasbeen compromised by visible cords in the tread area, avoiding the cost of safe tyres being unnecessarily rejected. 

Public submissions on the draft Rule close on 9 April 2009. More information is available on the NZTA website at: link)

For more information contact:

Andy Knackstedt
NZTA Media Manager
(04) 894 6285 or 0212 763 222