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The Land Transport Act 1998 contains the load security legislation that is administered by Waka Kotahi and enforced by the NZ Police. It provides strict liability for offences involving insecure loads and loads falling from vehicles. Offences attract fines for an individual of up to $2000 and a licence may be disqualified for a period as the Court thinks fit. The maximum fine for a body corporate is $10,000.

In any proceedings for an offence the Court must, in determining whether or not the operator or any person loading the vehicle was at fault, have regard to this code of practice. This code details the general requirements that must be met to ensure a load cannot fall. The defendant must be able to show that the load restraint system was capable of preventing movement of the load under all four of the following conditions:

  1.  During deceleration in the forward direction, when the restraining forces must be at least equal to the weight of the load, ie an acceleration of 1.0g.
  2. During deceleration in the rearward direction, when the restraining forces must be at least half the weight of the load, ie an acceleration of 0.5g.
  3. During cornering when the load is subjected to lateral or sideways acceleration, when the restraining forces must be at least half the weight of the load, ie an acceleration of 0.5g.
  4. While travelling over undulating roads, bumps and potholes, etc, the vertical restraining forces holding the load down must be at least one-fifth of the weight of the load, ie an acceleration of 0.2g.

Basic criteria and precautions

Strength requirements of restraint systems

This code details the minimum acceptable methods of securing specialised loads to ensure they meet the four conditions above. Other load securing methods are acceptable provided the conditions stipulated above are met.