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New heavy vehicle brake rule to improve safety

Media Statement
For immediate release
Date 5 September 2006
New heavy vehicle brake rule to improve safety

New safety requirements for heavy vehicle brakes will come into force from next year following the signing of the Heavy-vehicle Brakes Rule 2006 today by Minister for Transport Safety Harry Duynhoven.

The rule aims to improve safety for all road users by reducing the number of crashes on New Zealand roads involving heavy vehicles. Updated requirements for heavy vehicle brakes will come into force from 1 March 2007, with some new requirements taking effect from 1 July 2008.

The Rule will provide the legal basis for improving the braking performance of heavy vehicles (vehicles that have a gross vehicle mass exceeding 3,500kg) and heavy vehicle combinations.

The Rule requires the brakes of imported heavy vehicles to meet approved international braking standards and requires domestically manufactured or modified vehicles to meet requirements based on those international braking standards.

The Rule also requires all heavy vehicles used in combination, that are first registered or modified in New Zealand from 1 July 2008, to be fitted with load sensing valves or an anti-lock braking system. These technologies reduce the likelihood of jack-knifing and trailer swing under heavy braking.

An improved brake test will also be introduced as part of Certificate of Fitness inspections of heavy vehicles under the rule. Police and Land Transport New Zealand statistics show that brake defects cause or contribute to more crashes than any other type of heavy vehicle defect.

The rule will be available on-line from Wednesday 6 September at


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