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Omnibus Amendment 2016 - question and answers

Land Transport Rules - question and answers

Omnibus Amendment 2016

What is Land Transport Rule: Omnibus Amendment 2016?

Land Transport Rule: Omnibus Amendment 2016 (‘the Omnibus Amendment Rule’ or ‘the Rule’) included proposals to make changes to fifteen existing Land Transport Rules.

What is an Omnibus Amendment?

An Omnibus Amendment Rule is produced annually to group together, for the purposes of consultation, relatively straightforward or technical consequential amendments.

What are the reasons for the amendments being made?

The Omnibus Amendment Rule provides an effective way of consulting on a range of relatively minor changes to several Land Transport Rules, all at once. The changes are necessary for a range 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 and incorporate current practices and technology
  • correcting errors in cross-references, descriptions and technical specifications in current Rules.

What does the 2016 Omnibus amendment include?

This year’s Omnibus included a strong focus on cycling related rules because of the NZ Transport Agency (the Transport Agency) including some recommendations from the Cycling Safety Panel Report 2014.  Cycling is now the fastest growing mode of transport in several cities and towns across New Zealand. For example, adult cycle trips into the Wellington CBD increased by 100 per cent between 2006 and 2015. However, cycling surveys show that the main reason people choose not to cycle is because they feel it is too dangerous.

The Ministry of Transport and the Transport Agency have prioritised an initial package of rule changes that would help provide a safer environment for cyclists. The proposed changes are minor and/or technical in nature, reflect best practice design or are informed by the results of current trials. Some help to remove inconsistencies in road rules or provide more certainty for the mutual benefit of both cyclists and road users.

What amendment Rules have been made?

The following Land Transport Rules, arising as a result of the Omnibus Amendment Rule, have been signed by the Associate Minister of Transport:

The proposed amendments to Land Transport Rule: Door Retention Systems 2002 were withdrawn in response to submissions received. The proposed amendments to Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Dimensions and Mass 2002 will be incorporated into Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Dimensions and Mass 2016.

What changes have been made in the amendment Rules?

Heavy Vehicles 2004/Heavy Vehicle Brakes 2006

The changes to the Heavy Vehicles and Heavy-vehicles Brakes Rules amend the definition of 'twin-steer axle set' to:

  • remove a reference to 'tandem axle'; and
  • make spacing consistent with international manufacturers' practice.

Passenger Service Vehicles 1999

The changes update how the Rule refers to qualifications of persons who conduct inspections of certain electric-powered vehicles, in line with amendments made to the Electricity Act 1992 by the Electricity Amendment Act 2006.

Road User 2004

These changes:

  • extend the definition of ‘defence force emergency vehicle’ to include a counter-terrorism response vehicle operated by the NZ Defence Force:
  • permit drivers to encroach onto a flush median when overtaking cyclists:
  • for places where a separated path crosses a road way, require cyclists on a cycle path or a
    separated path or drivers on a road way to stop or give way where either group is controlled
    by a stop sign or a give way sign:
  • clarify that a driver approaching an intersection must not enter a cycle lane if the driver's
    intended passage or exit is blocked by stationary traffic or the signals are red and a vehicle
    would obstruct the cycle lane:
  • widen the range of circumstances indicated by a warning sign in which a 20 km per hour speed limit applies:
  • allow a bus to enter and leave a cycle lane and to stop at a bus stop in a cycle lane for
    the purpose of passenger boarding and alighting:
  • extend the time period during which lighting and reflector requirements apply to pedal cycles
    and power assisted pedal cycles.

Seatbelts and Seatbelt Anchorages 2002

These changes clarify that seatbelts fitted in the rear of motor homes may be either lap seatbelts or lap and diagonal seatbelts (but must be a lap seatbelt if the seat is sideways-facing).

Setting of Speed Limits 2003

These changes:

  • clarify that the rural speed limit is the default speed limit on all motorways, not just those in rural areas:
  • allow temporary speed limits to be 10 km per hour less than the permanent speed limit in areas where the permanent speed limit is 50 km per hour or less:
  • clarify that variable speed limits may be set for safe or efficient traffic management:
  • allow a speed limit sign to be placed more than 20 metres from the point a speed limit changes, where it would make it easier for road users to see or react to the sign, but as close to the point at which the speed limit changes as is reasonably practicable:
  • allow a Road Controlling Authority to mark the speed limit on the road surface at places other
    than alongside a speed limit sign.

Steering Systems 2001

These changes correct 2 inaccurate cross-references.

Traffic Control Devices 2004

These changes:

  • allow the Transport Agency, by notice in the Gazette, to vary aspects of traffic signs specified in Schedule 1 of the Rule:
  • allow the Agency, by notice in the Gazette, to vary the colour, shape, dimensions, words,
    numerals, or symbols of markings specified in Schedule 2 of the Rule:
  • allow the use of blue flashing reflective pavement markers as ice warning markers:
  • remove the requirement for flashing red signals to have a supplementary signal display:
  • add new warning signs into Schedule 1 of the Rule:
  • add the road marking for 'sharrows' into Schedule 2 of the Rule:
  • replace the special vehicle display signals diagrams shown in Schedule 3 of the Rule.

Tyres and Wheels 2001

The change to Tyres and Wheels 2001 corrects a typographical error.

Vehicle Exhaust Emissions 2007

These changes:

  • add vehicle emissions standard 'Japan 05' for all vehicles manufactured after 1 January 2014 so that vehicles may comply with the 'Japan 05' or the 'Japan 09' emissions standard:
  • update a cross-reference in Schedule 4.

Vehicle Equipment 2004

These changes extend the definition of ‘defence force emergency vehicle’ to include a counter-terrorism response vehicle operated by the NZ Defence Force.

Vehicle Lighting 2004

These changes:

  • allow for the deactivation of optional lighting equipment rather than requiring removal if the
    equipment does not meet the applicable safety requirements:
  • require pedal cycle and power-assisted pedal cycle front and rear lights to be visible from a
    distance of 200 metres between the times of sunrise and sunset:
  • remove a requirement to fit high-mounted stop lamps to vehicles registered or manufactured
    before 1 January 1990:
  • revoke a clause where the same requirement exists elsewhere in the Rule, and consequentially
    amend two other clauses:
  • extend the definition of ‘defence force emergency vehicle’ to include a counter-terrorism
    response vehicle operated by the NZ Defence Force:
  • correct a typographical error in Schedule 3 of the Rule.

Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002

In clause 2.5(2)(b)(ii) the word "civil" has been replaced with "public" so that the clause covers both public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance.

5. When do these amendment Rules come into force?

All the amendment Rules come into force on 1 December 2016. Until then the current requirements continue to apply.

6. Was the public consulted on the amendments?

Yes. The Transport Agency consulted between 15 July and 12 August 2016 on the proposed changes.

The Transport Agency received 35 submissions on the Omnibus Amendment Rule.

The submissions received were taken into account in finalising the amendment Rules following which they were submitted to the Associate Minister of Transport for signing.

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

The Land Transport Act 1998 allows the Minister of Transport to make and amend Land Transport Rules.

8. Where can I get copies of the Rules?

Final signed Rules, together with Questions and Answers, are published on the Transport Agency’s website.

Printed copies of Land Transport Rules can be purchased from selected bookshops throughout New Zealand that sell legislation.

Rules can also be purchased from the Rule printers and distributors, Wickliffe NZ Ltd, PO Box 932 Dunedin 9054, or by telephoning (06) 353 2700. Rules can also be inspected at the National Office and regional offices of the Transport Agency.

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

A newsletter outlining the Rule changes is being sent to the groups and individuals who have registered their interest in Rules that have been amended. Where necessary, the Transport Agency is advising relevant industry groups of the changes. It is also updating any relevant Factsheets or other information material available on its website at to reflect the changes brought about by the amendment Rules.