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Driver Licensing Changes Positive For Rural People

9 September 1999

PR97/99

DRIVER LICENSING CHANGES POSITIVE FOR RURAL PEOPLE

Changes to the driver licensing rules announced by the Government are welcomed by Federated Farmers.

"Federated Farmers is very pleased that the Government and the Land Transport Safety Authority have listened to our concerns and addressed most of the issues we raised," said Federated Farmers Vice President Tom Lambie.

"A few outstanding issues about the driving of agricultural machinery on public roads have not been addressed, but we have been assured by the Government that a pragmatic approach by the police will avoid any problems. Should this not be the case, Federated Farmers will seek further and immediate changes to the driver licensing rules."

Farmers now have the absolute assurance that a special endorsement will not be required to drive a tractor on public roads.

"Federated Farmers congratulates the Government for reducing the cost of retaining a bus licence, but is disappointed that the further reductions we looked for have not been provided."

"We will be holding the Government to its assurance that further work will be undertaken on some of the costs involved. We are convinced that further savings can be made," concluded Mr Lambie.

ENDS

BACKGROUND NOTES

Changes that effect Farmers

* P endorsement fees change from five-yearly fee of $312.50 to:

* Five-yearly fee of $199.70 or

* Annual fee of $58.00 (4 out of 5 years) and $86.20 every 5th year (includes $28.20 police vetting fee)

* Time required to hold a full Class 2 licence before applying for a Class 4L licence reduced from 12 to 6 months

* P endorsement can be renewed (without having to start from scratch) within five years (change from within one year) of it expiring - this allows people to pay an annual P endorsement fee - miss a year or two and then pay another annual fee

* Tractors (not agricultural machinery) now covered by licence classes on the basis of their weight (no endorsement required)

* Class 2 and 2L now covers 15 tonnes (or less) rigid vehicle towing a light trailer (not considered to be a combination vehicle and the weight of the trailer not added to the weight of the towing vehicle)

* and rigid vehicles over 15 tonnes with no more than 2 axles * Class 4 and 4L covers rigid vehicles over 15 tonnes towing a light trailer


ENDS

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