Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

New Rules To Boost Vehicle Safety

Only cars meeting approved frontal impact standards will be allowed to be registered for use on New Zealand roads from April, Transport Minister Mark Gosche announced today.

The new requirement is one of a several signed by the Minister this week, all aimed at improving the safety of New Zealand vehicles.

“One third of all fatal crashes and nearly half of the injury crashes in New Zealand last year involved a frontal impact.

“Australian research shows that vehicle occupants are 25% less likely to be killed or seriously injured in a crash when the vehicle complies with frontal impact standards, so rules governing frontal impact standards are a crucial tool for reducing the road toll.”

The Land Transport Safety Authority estimates that as many as 85 lives could be saved, and thousands of injuries prevented, over the next 18 years as a result of the new requirements, Mr Gosche said.

Frontal impact systems use a combination of safety features such as airbags and "crumple zones" to protect vehicle occupants in head-on crashes and other frontal impacts.

The change means that most Japanese vehicles manufactured before frontal impact standards were introduced (between 1994 and 1996) will be unable to enter the New Zealand fleet after 1 April next year. Vehicles already registered in New Zealand will not be affected.

"The frontal impact protection system is the most important advance in vehicle safety technology since the seat belt. Compliance with an approved standard can literally mean the difference between life and death in a crash."

While there has been widespread support for the rule because of the acknowledged safety benefits, some had argued it should be delayed, rather than introduced in April.

“The problem is that our fleet is aging significantly. Because of safety advances like frontal impact systems, newer vehicles are much safer than older vehicles. But the age of our fleet is heading in the wrong direction. In 1996 the average imported car was 6.1 years old, and now it is 7.5 years old.

This rule will accelerate the rate at which newer used cars come into New Zealand.

“With no intervention it’s estimated that all imports would comply by 2009, but we want the safety benefits much earlier than that.”

The Frontal Impact Rule also makes it a legal requirement to replace damaged or deployed airbags in vehicles up to 14 years old, and introduces new requirements for the supply and use of replacement parts when a vehicle is repaired.

Also announced today was the Tyres and Wheels Rule, which includes new requirements relating to the use of space saver tyres. The rule states that space saver tyres can only be used in an emergency, and that the manufacturer’s recommendations relating to tyre pressure and maximum speed must be followed. These changes also come into effect from April 1.

"Cars will be legally limited to a maximum speed of 80km/h when a space saver tyre is being used, unless the manufacturer recommends a lower limit. People will also be legally required to inflate space saver tyres to the recommended pressure - which is much higher than for a normal tyre," Mr Gosche said.

Minor revisions have also been made to five existing vehicle standards rules covering door retention systems, external projections, steering systems, head restraints and interior impact standards.

Mr Gosche said all the new vehicles safety rules would play an important part in the government's determination to bring the road toll down.

"Vehicles are getting safer all the time as new technology is developed. These rules will help to ensure that as many New Zealanders as possible enjoy the benefits of these advances."

More vehicle safety rules are likely to be introduced next year, to ban water damaged vehicles, improve standards for seatbelts and introduce more stringent border inspections, Mr Gosche said.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

General Assembly: Ardern Rejects Trump Call For War On Drugs

New Zealand will not be signing the United States' document calling for global action on the war on drugs, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

Ms Ardern is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week, along with about 140 other world leaders.

US President Donald Trump is kicking off his week at the UN by holding an event to promote the US document called the Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem. More>>

 

Hunting v Pest Control: Tahr Control Needed To Protect Alpine Habitats

A cull of introduced Himalayan tahr browsing conservation land in Kā Tiritiri o Te Moana/ the Southern Alps is needed to protect special alpine plants and their habitats, Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage said. More>>

ALSO:

Protest At Sea: Judge Discharges Greenpeace Activists

The judge today discharged Norman and Howell without conviction, saying the cumulative consequences of a conviction would be out of proportion to what was “low level” offending off the Wairarapa coast in April 2017. More>>

ALSO:

Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>

ALSO:

No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>

ALSO:

Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels