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Simpler rules for agricultural vehicles welcomed

8 August 2012

Simpler rules for agricultural vehicles welcomed

Federated Farmers is happy with the proposed simplified rules for operating agricultural vehicles on roads announced today by the associate Minister of Transport.

“The Federation has been working with the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) since the revision of these rules was announced last year,” Federated Farmers transport spokesman Ian Mackenzie said.

“As a result there are a number of commonsense proposals being put to the public for inclusion in the Land Transport rules. These changes will make compliance on agricultural vehicles straightforward and easy to understand. MOT estimates the package of changes will deliver a net benefit of $51 million and, importantly, is unlikely to have any adverse affect on safety.

“One of the most significant changes for farmers, whose agricultural vehicles spend most of their life off-road, is that vehicles operating below 40km/h will be exempt from warrant of fitness and work time requirements.

“Once they have proven their ability to operate them safely, workers with agricultural endorsements on their car licences will be able to drive a greater range of agricultural vehicles. This endorsement class is likely to be implemented next year after next year’s review of the driver licensing schedule.

“Improved rules on pilot vehicles, work time variation schemes, hazard identification and vehicle visibility should also improve safety.

“While farmers and contractors wanted to reduce compliance costs and red tape, nobody wanted this review to compromise road safety. Federated Farmers believes this has been achieved.

“We will look at the proposed changes in greater detail and will continue to engage with the MOT and NZTA over how these will work in practice, but we are very optimistic that these new rules will be generally beneficial.

"The paramount requirement of any vehicle operating on the road is it needs to be safe. With these rules the public can be confident that agricultural vehicles are safe on the road," Mr Mackenzie concluded.

ENDS

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