Land Transport Rule - Advisory Circular

Glazing, Windscreen Wipe and Wash, and Mirrors 1999

AC No.2/32012
October 1999

What is this advisory circular about?

This advisory circular contains information about Land Transport Rule: Glazing, Windscreen Wipe and Wash, and Mirrors 1999 (‘the revised rule’), which was signed by the Minister of Transport on 20 September 1999. This rule updates and replaces Land Transport Rule: Glazing 1996 (‘the earlier rule’), which had been in force since 1 January 1997.

The revised rule sets out general safety requirements and the approved vehicle standards for:

The revised rule is part of an overall strategy which aims to maintain and improve the safety of the New Zealand vehicle fleet at reasonable cost. The revised rule incorporates and updates the requirements for glazing from the earlier rule. It also consolidates and clarifies the requirements for windscreen wipe systems, windscreen wash systems and rear-view mirrors which were previously contained in the Traffic Regulations 1976 and the Transport (Vehicle Standards) Regulations 1990.

It is important to note that this advisory circular does not contain any legal requirements and is NOT part of the rule. The rule can be read as a ‘stand-alone’ document and this advisory circular simply provides background material to the rule.

This advisory circular replaces AC No. 1/32012 of 1 October 1996, which is cancelled.


Why has the earlier rule been revised?

The revision of the earlier rule was largely prompted by the need to align the vehicle-related rules then in force with two rules that came into effect in 1999. The first of these rules, Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 1998 (Rule 35001), sets out certification procedures for such purposes as the registration of vehicles in New Zealand, modifications that may affect a vehicle’s compliance with safety requirements, and in-service inspection. The second rule, Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Repair 1998 (Rule 34001), sets requirements for vehicle repairs.

Changes in international practice regarding the application of tint film had also occurred since the earlier rule was made. In particular, the State of Victoria had changed the requirements for tint film applied to front side windows.


What are the differences between the earlier rule and the revised rule?

The revised rule:


Requirements of the rule

Scope of the rule

The scope of the revised rule has been changed in three ways:


General safety requirements

The general safety requirements are broad, performance-based requirements which generally apply to all vehicles no matter what type or age. The requirements continue and update, and in some cases elaborate on, relevant requirements in the Traffic Regulations 1976 and the Transport (Vehicle Standards) Regulations 1990.


Incorporation of approved vehicle standards

Approved vehicle standards for glazing prescribed in the Transport (Vehicle Standards) Regulations 1990 (VSRs) were incorporated by reference into the earlier rule. The revised rule includes these glazing standards, adds one new standard, and also incorporates vehicle standards relating to windscreen wipe systems, windscreen wash systems and rear-view mirrors.

The approved vehicle standards originate from the main jurisdictions from which New Zealand vehicles are sourced. Vehicles may comply with any of the standards from the range specified for each item of vehicle equipment.

These approved vehicle standards are effectively part of the rule. Each new version of an approved vehicle standard is automatically incorporated into the rule as it comes into force in the applicable overseas jurisdiction. The vehicle standards are listed in Sections 2, 4 and 5 of the revised rule by reference to the first acceptable version of the standards.

Material that is incorporated in the rule is available for inspection at the head office of the Land Transport Safety Authority (LTSA) (see back page for address). The addresses of standards organisations are also available from the LTSA head office.


Identification of glazing

The revised rule carries over the requirement in the earlier rule that all glazing, including glazing cut from a parent sheet, must contain permanent markings identifying the trade name or vehicle standard with which it complies. The new rule specifies additional details such as when glazing does not have to be marked.

The glazing markings that are required by the vehicle standards incorporated in the rule are reproduced in the Warrant of Fitness Inspection Guide and the Heavy Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Guide. These guides can be read at LTSA offices.


Applying tinting to glazing

The earlier rule prohibited the application of tinted overlays on windscreens. This is unchanged in the revised rule.

However, the revised rule changes the law on the tinting of front side windows. The earlier rule prohibited the application of tint or clear film on front side windows to the left or right of the driver. This was in line with the practice, at the time, of most overseas jurisdictions.

As a result of reviewing the provisions, and taking account of changes in other jurisdictions, the revised rule now allows the tinting of front side windows, provided the overall level of VLT is not reduced to less than 35%.

The rule continues to allow (as in the earlier rule) the application of tint film in rear and rear side glazing. The rule sets no minimum VLT level for rear and rear side glazing, except that passenger cars (Class MA) must not be modified to the extent that the overall VLT is reduced below 35%. If rear or rear side glazing is modified with tint film, the rule requires the fitting of rear-view mirrors on both sides of the vehicle.


Implementation of VLT limit

All motor vehicles must be inspected by a vehicle compliance certifier when first imported for registration in New Zealand. This certification inspection includes a check for compliance with glazing requirements to ensure that the vehicle meets the standards to which it has been manufactured. If the vehicle has already been modified by the application of tint film on the front side windows, the vehicle compliance certifier must check that the VLT is not less than 35%.

If tint film is applied to the front side windows of a vehicle already registered in New Zealand, the person who applies the film is responsible for ensuring that the VLT of the glazing – with the film applied – is not reduced below 35%. When a certifier inspects a vehicle for the purpose of a Warrant of Fitness or Certificate of Fitness, if there is reason to believe that the tinting is not within the legal limit, then the VLT must be checked. Information on the VLT 35% limit may include a sticker from a recognised source, or be based on some form of physical verification, or both.


Repair of glazing

The rule requires that a repair to a windscreen must comply with a specified repair standard. The new joint Australian/New Zealand repair standard, which had not been approved at the time the earlier rule came into force, has now been incorporated. A repair to a windscreen has to comply with a repair standard that applied at the time of the repair.


Requirements for windscreen wipe and wash systems

The rule states which motor vehicles must be fitted with a windscreen wipe system and which must also have a windscreen wash system. It recognises that motor vehicles have been legally required to have a windscreen wash system only since 1992.

In general, special purpose vehicles such as agricultural and road construction vehicles (those that are fitted with windscreens), must have a windscreen wash system as well as a wipe system if manufactured on or after 1 January 2001.


Requirements for rear-view mirrors

The rule contains requirements for rear-view mirrors. For special purpose vehicles, the fitting of a rear-view mirror is mandatory only if the vehicle is manufactured on or after 1 July 2000.


Relationship with other legislation

A number of regulations have been revoked because they are superseded by requirements in the revised rule. These are:

Traffic Regulations 1976, regulations 73(1) and 73(2) (concerning windscreen wipers);

Traffic Regulations 1976, regulation 74 (concerning rear-vision mirrors);

Transport (Vehicle Standards) Regulations 1990, regulation 27, including item 16 of the Second Schedule (concerning windscreen wiping and washing equipment);

Transport (Vehicle Standards) Regulations 1990, regulation 28, including item 17 of the Second Schedule (concerning rear-vision mirrors).


How will the rule be enforced?

Provisions setting out the penalties for not complying with the rule have been included in an amendment to the Land Transport (Offences and Penalties) Regulations 1999. The effect of the amended regulations is that a breach of the ‘responsibilities’ provisions in section 7 of the revised rule is an offence subject to a penalty.

Relevant information about the rule required for the in-service inspection of vehicles is to be included in the Warrant of Fitness Inspection Guide and the Heavy Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Guide.


Obtaining information about the rule

In addition to this advisory circular, which is intended to be read with the rule, the LTSA has revised two Factsheets (39 and 40) and several Infosheets which contain information about the requirements in the revised rule. These are available from LTSA offices (see back page) or by calling Freephone 0800 699 000.


The rules process

Land Transport Rules are a form of legislation that the Land Transport Safety Authority produces for the Minister of Transport to sign. Rules are a type of ‘second tier’ or ‘subordinate’ legislation, much like land transport regulations (which rules will gradually replace). The authority to make rules and regulations is contained in Acts, which are ‘first tier’ legislation. In the case of Land Transport Rules, the first tier legislation is the Land Transport Act 1998. Rules differ from other forms of land transport legislation in that the Land Transport Safety Authority drafts them for the Minister of Transport and their production involves several phases of drafting and re-drafting to take into account extensive consultation with the public.


Where are rules available?

Land Transport Rules and advisory circulars are on sale at bookshops throughout New Zealand that stock legislation, or direct from Wickliffe Ltd., freephone 0800 226 440.


Land Transport Safety Authority addresses

    Updated contact details
May 2004
Head Office 4th Floor, 7-27 Waterloo Quay
PO Box 2840, Wellington
Tel 0-4-494 8600
Fax 0-4-494 8601
Freephone 0800 699 000
Tel 04 931 8700
Fax 04 931 8701
Northland Region Level One, Post Office Building
Cnr Rathbone & Robert Streets
PO Box 1664
Engineering: 0-9-459 6315
Education: 0-9-459 6314
Fax: 0-9-459 6318
New office
Auckland Region Level 6, 1 Queen Street
Private Bag 106 602, Auckland
Tel 0-9-377 3400
Fax 0-9-357 1615
Tel 09 969 9800
Fax 09 969 9813
Hamilton Region Clayton House, 109-111 Anglesea Street
Private Bag 3081, Hamilton
From November 2000
183 Collingwood Street
Private Bag 3081, Hamilton
Tel 0-7-839 7000
Fax 0-7-839 7001
Tel 07 958 7840
Fax 07 958 7866
Napier Region Third Floor, Housing New Zealand Building, Hastings Street
PO Box 972, Napier
Tel 0-6-835 8187
Fax 0-6-835 2292
Tel 06 974 5520
Fax 06 974 5529
Palmerston North Region 71 Queen St
PO Box 1947, Palmerston North
Tel 0-6-356 5016
Fax 0-6-356 5017
Tel 06 953 6296
Fax 06 953 6203
Wellington Region Master Builders House, 234-242 Wakefield Street
PO Box 27-249, Wellington
Tel 0-4-801 8989
Fax 0-4-382 6420
Tel 04 931 8900
Fax 04 931 8929
Christchurch Region BNZ House, 129 Hereford Street
PO Box 13-364, Christchurch
Tel 0-3-363 5666
Fax 0-3-363 5655
Tel 03 964 2866
Fax 03 964 2855
Dunedin Region AA Centre, 450 Moray Place
PO Box 5245, Dunedin
Tel 0-3-477 7789
Fax 0-3-474 1434
Tel 03 951 3009
Fax 03 951 3013
Queenstown Region 29 Copper Beech Avenue
Tel 0-3-442 3888
Fax 0-3-442 2810
New office

Land Transport Rule - Glazing, Windscreen Wipe and Wash, and Mirrors 1999 Circular - AC No.2/32012
Land Transport Safety Authority of New Zealand, Te Mana Marutau Waka Whenua o Aotearoa