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Draft Heavy Vehicle Brakes Rule released

For immediate release

Draft Heavy Vehicle Brakes Rule released for consultation

The Land Transport Safety Authority is calling for submissions on a draft rule covering the legal requirements for brakes on heavy vehicles.

The draft Land Transport Rule: Heavy-Vehicle Brakes is now available for public consultation, with submissions closing on 3 September 2004.

The rule aims to reduce the number of crashes caused by heavy vehicle brake defects by improving testing procedures and requiring the use of advanced braking technology. The proposed rule would cover all vehicles with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) over 3,500kg.

In addition to clarifying and rationalising existing legal requirements, the draft rule proposes two important new requirements for heavy vehicle brakes:

- Certificate of Fitness (CoF) inspections would test the brakes of heavy vehicles with the vehicles laden, or with a simulated load, instead of unladen as at present;

- All heavy vehicles first registered or modified in New Zealand after 1 May 2006 which are used in combination (e.g. a truck towing a trailer) would have to meet a performance requirement for brakes. This is very likely to require the fitting of Load Sensing Valves (LSVs) or an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) to heavy vehicles used in combination.

Load Sensing Valves automatically proportion the braking effort of a heavy vehicle according to the mass of the load being carried by each axle set. Anti-Lock Braking Systems reduce the brake force on a wheel if it starts to lock up, so that directional control is maintained.

It is proposed that laden brake testing be incorporated into CoF inspections from November 2006, while the new LSV/ABS braking requirements would apply to combination vehicles first registered or modified in New Zealand after 1 May 2006.

The draft Heavy-Vehicle Brakes Rule and overview, a question and answer document and a submission form are available from the LTSA website, www.ltsa.govt.nz/consultation /heavy-vehicle-brakes/. Copies of the draft rule and overview can also be obtained from the LTSA Help Desk, on 0800 699 000.

All submissions received on the draft rule will be summarised and considered by the LTSA and the Ministry of Transport. The rule will then be finalised for submission to Cabinet and presentation to the Minister of Transport for signing. The rule is likely to come into force in late 2005.

ENDS

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