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Passenger Service Vehicle Rule Now The Law

SAFER vehicles and a simpler compliance system are the focus of the new Passenger Service Vehicle Rule, signed into law by Transport Minister Maurice Williamson on Monday.

The rule covers the design, construction and maintenance of all passenger service vehicles (PSVs) in New Zealand, including buses, taxis and mini-buses. It consolidates and extends existing legislation to incorporate new vehicle types, safety standards and technologies.

"Some parts of the current legislation date back to 1954. It had simply become outdated as these new vehicle types, safety standards and technologies were developed," said Alan Woodside, LTSA General Manager, Policy.

"The old regulations for PSVs also included many cumbersome, non-safety requirements. For example, we've gotten rid of requirements regulating the depth of seat cushions and the illumination of ticket and cash receptacles on buses. Eliminating these requirements will not compromise the safety of passengers a bit, but it will increase flexibility for operators. On the other hand, we're tightening up on measures to prevent overloading."

Mr Woodside said that there were also important clarifications for calculating the structural strength and roll-over requirements for buses. "This rule spells out - in clear, technical terms - the way in which structural strength must be distributed along these vehicles," he said. The rule also includes new provisions for the structural strength of buses with non-metallic bodies.

The rule simplifies the compliance process for PSVs by incorporating approved UN-ECE standards. This will make the compliance process easier, quicker and less expensive for vehicles manufactured to these standards. Operators of vehicles manufactured in Australia will enjoy the same benefits when the revised Australian Design Rules are aligned with UN-ECE standards.

"Buses and taxis already enjoy an enviable safety record in this country," Mr Woodside said. "This rule will ensure that all PSVs in New Zealand continue to meet top international standards, and that operators are able to continue providing the New Zealand public with safe, reliable transport."

Ends

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