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Land Transport Rule: Heavy Vehicles 2004

This rule sets out requirements and standards for heavy vehicle safety. It applies to vehicles with a gross vehicle mass of more than 3500kg.

Rule versions

  • The ‘Current rule’ will give you the most up-to-date version of the Rule and any amendments made to it. We recommend this as your reference point if you want to read the most current information.
  • The ‘Original rule and amendments’ will give you the very first version of the rule (as it was when it was first created) as well as links to all amendments made to it over time. We recommend this page as your reference page if you want to research the history of the rule.

Note: Both of these pages will also provide links to the consultation material – such as summary of submissions and FAQs (questions and answers) – for each version and amendment.

Questions and answers

Questions and answers are provided to accompany a new rule or amendment when they are signed. These and other consultation documents on this page have not been updated to take into account any later rule amendments and are retained for historic interest only.  

Land Transport Rules – questions & answers

Omnibus Amendment 2014

1. What is the Land Transport Rule: Omnibus Amendment Rule 2014?

Land Transport Rule: Omnibus Amendment 2014 (the Omnibus Amendment Rule) was prepared for public consultation and contained proposals to change requirements in a number of existing land transport rules. Annual omnibus amendment rules provide a means for consulting on relatively straightforward rule changes that are mainly of a technical or editorial nature, or that originate, for example, from the need to reflect current industry best practice or changes to other legislation.

2. What are the amendment rules resulting from Omnibus Amendment 2014?

For the purposes of consultation, proposed amendments to 11 Land Transport Rules were combined into the Omnibus Amendment Rule. Following consultation, the provisions in the Omnibus Amendment Rule were split into the following amendment rules:

The 11th proposed rule, an amendment to the Land Transport (Driver Licensing) Rule 1999, is being progressed separately.

3. What are the reasons for the amendments being made?

The number of relatively minor changes to several land transport rules is necessary for a variety of reasons. These include:

  • clarifying or modifying current requirements to assist understanding and enforcement;
  • removing unnecessary or unintended requirements to reduce the burden of compliance (without diminishing safety standards);
  • amending requirements to accord with current practices and technology;
  • correcting errors in cross-references, descriptions and technical specifications in current Rules.

4. What changes have been made in the amendment rules?

The changes to each rule are summarised below.

Heavy Vehicles 2004

This change approves United Nations/Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) Regulation 55 as an allowable standard for ‘50 mm diameter fifth wheels on imported, powered vehicles’ where the fifth wheels have been installed and certified by the manufacturer of the vehicle as meeting this standard. It will also ensure that modification or repair of these fifth wheels is carried out to specific New Zealand or Australian standards.

Light-vehicle Brakes 2002

These changes will:

  • clarify the standard required for tow couplings on light trailers; and
  • allow agricultural trailers to have one safety chain. This will bring requirements for agricultural trailer safety chains into line with those already in place for heavy agricultural trailers.

Operator Licensing 2007

This change will amend the rule to ensure that taxi meters are sealed where required by the NZ Transport Agency to protect against unauthorised interference.

Passenger Service Vehicles 1999

These changes will:

  • clarify the description of aisle space
  • remove the requirements around roof-rack fitting, certification and labelling on light passenger service vehicles.

Road User Rule 2004

These changes will:

  • clarify that either markings or signs may be used to exclude cycles, mopeds and motorcycles from a special vehicle lane
  • amend the word ‘signal’ to ‘sign’, in a clause about lane use, to correct the current description of a traffic control device.
  • clarify that a driver may move to the left of the roadway until the road is clear of all traffic (not just right turning traffic from the centre of the road), before commencing a right hand turn.

Traffic Control Devices 2004

These changes will:

  • allow temporary signs authorised by an enactment to continue to be used after a law change makes them obsolete;
  • allow a monogram or logo that marks the historical significance of a street to be placed on the street name sign;
  • allow markings intended for pedestrians and cyclists to be decreased in size when installed on places such as footpaths;
  • clarify that a red arrow applies to all traffic intending to travel in the direction of the arrow and that it is not overridden by bus, train or cycle signals;
  • enable a left turn green arrow to change to a full green disc without an intervening yellow left turn arrow;
  • allow yellow disc signals on motorway ramp signal advance warning signs to be mandatory only where approaching vehicles are likely to exceed 70 km/h;
  • clarify that drivers must have an unobstructed view of the full length of pedestrian and school crossing points;
  • clarify requirements for parking signs by updating a cross-reference to refer to the specific requirements for parking signs rather than the general requirements for parking signs;
  • clarify that cycles, mopeds or motorcycles may be excluded from a bus lane by either a sign or a marking;
  • change the required sizing of a particular temporary supplementary sign;
  • clarify that a “Cycle Only” sign applies to a cycle path, but not to a cycle lane, as this means “cycle only” by default;
  • amend an incorrect reference within the specification of sign A14-1 street name.

Tyres and Wheels 2001

This change will revoke two clauses (clause 2.3(10) and 2.3(11)) relating to tyre load ratings.

Vehicle Equipment 2004

This change will add the UN/ECE Regulation 129 approved child restraint standard to the list of approved standards for child restraints.

Vehicle Lighting 2004

These changes will:

  • make minor amendments to three UN/ECE standards to reflect that their descriptions now include LED modules
  • add agricultural motor vehicles (that are operated at no more than 40 km/h) to the list of vehicles that do not need to meet certain requirements in this Rule.

Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002

This proposed change would clarify that agricultural trailers that don’t need to be registered, also do not need to undergo warrant of fitness or certificate of fitness inspection.

Consultation and publication

5. When do these amendment rules come into force?

All the amendment rules come into force on 1 November 2014. Until the amendment rules come into force, the current requirements continue to apply.

6. Was the public consulted on the amendments?

Yes. On 23 May 2014, the NZ Transport Agency advised about 2400 groups and individuals registered on the rules consultation database, by letter or email, of the proposed changes and invited them to make submissions. Printed copies of the Omnibus Amendment Rule and a summary of the proposed changes were made available on request. The Omnibus Amendment Rule and information material were also available on the NZ Transport Agency’s website.

Public notices seeking submissions were published in the daily newspapers in the major centres (Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin) and in the New Zealand Gazette. The NZ Transport Agency received 25 submissions on the amendment proposals. The submissions were taken into account in preparing the amendment rules for signing.

7. What is the legal basis for the amendment rules?

The Land Transport Act 1998 allows the Minister of Transport to make land transport rules.

8. Where can I get copies of the rules?

  • Rules are available on our website.
  • Printed copies of land transport rules can be purchased from selected bookshops throughout New Zealand that sell legislation.
  • The rules can also be purchased from the rule printers and distributors, Wickliffe Solutions, PO Box 932 Dunedin 9054, or by telephoning (06) 353 2700. The Road User Rule is available in bound form from Legislation Direct (telephone (04) 568 0005). Rules can also be inspected at the National Office and regional offices of the NZ Transport Agency.

9. How will the NZ Transport Agency make sure people know about the amendment rules?

A newsletter outlining the rule changes is sent to the groups and individuals who have registered their interest in rules that have been amended. Where necessary, the NZ Transport Agency will advise relevant industry groups of the changes. It will also update any relevant factsheets or other information material available on its website to reflect the changes brought about by the amendment rules.