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Land Transport Rule: Operator Licensing 2007

Published: 01 10 2007

Sets out requirements for obtaining and retaining a licence to operate a passenger, rental, vehicle recovery, or goods service. Also requirements that apply to transport service drivers, 'dial-a-driver' service drivers, hirers of rental service vehicles, and approved taxi organisations.

IMPORTANT

About the Rule

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About the Questions and answers

Questions and answers are provided to accompany a new Rule or amendment Rule when it is signed. Please note − these versions of the Questions and answers are not updated to take into account any later amendments to the Rule and are retained for historic interest only.

Questions & answers

Land Transport Rules: Work Time and Logbooks 2007 (Rule 62001)
and Operator Licensing Rule 2007 (Rule 81001)

Contents

About the legislation

What law changes have been made?
The Land Transport Amendment Act passed in 2005 supports two new Land Transport Rules – Land Transport Rule: Operator Licensing (the Operator Licensing Rule) and Land Transport Rule: Work Time and Log Books (the Work Time and Logbooks Rule).

Both Rules were signed on 28 June 2007 and most provisions within these Rules took effect on 1 October 2007 at the same time as provisions in the Act relating to work time and logbook requirements, operator licensing, and offences and penalties.

What does the Work Time and Logbooks Rule cover?
The Work Time and Logbooks Rule sets out:

  • variations to work time limits;
  • when a minimum 30 minute rest period must be taken;
  • roles, duties and responsibilities for managing driver fatigue;
  • how records of hours worked should be kept and maintained;
  • formats for logbook design;
  • how logbooks should be used and by whom; and
  • requirements for any fatigue management schemes used in place of work time and/or logbook requirements.

Who does the Rule affect?
The Rule applies to anyone who is legally required to manage driving hours (now called ‘work time’). This includes transport service operators, managers or principals of firms that employ drivers.

When did it come into effect?
Although most provisions within the Rule came into effect on 1 October 2007, all previous work time and logbook exemptions previously issued under the previous legislation expired on 1 April 2008 and old log book forms will become invalid on 1 July 2008.

What does the Operator Licensing Rule cover and who does it affect?
The Operator Licensing Rule sets out requirements for transport service licence holders (passenger service, goods service, vehicle recovery and rental service). Some new provisions also affect approved taxi organisations (ATOs), hirers of rental service vehicles, drivers of small passenger service vehicles including ‘dial-a-drivers’, goods service vehicles and vehicle recovery service vehicles.

A major change affecting most transport service licence (TSL) holders is the requirement to display their TSL (i.e. passenger service licence, goods service licence, rental service licence or vehicle recovery licence) number on the exterior of all vehicles operating under that TSL number.

When did this come into effect?
All provisions took effect on 1 October 2007, with the exception of the requirement for some existing taxi drivers in Auckland and Wellington to obtain additional Area Knowledge Certificates for the entire metropolitan areas which took effect on 1 April 2008 and a requirement for taxis to display vehicle and ATO-related information in Braille which will take effect on 1 October 2008.

How do these Rules relate to the Land Transport Amendment Act (the Act)?
The Act and Rules are interdependent in many areas.  Provisions that are ‘high level’ in nature are contained in the Act, while ‘low level’ operational details are located in the Rules. For example, the Act sets new limits for hours worked by the commercial transport sector and removes the current distinction between on-duty and driving hours, replacing this with ‘work time’ hours. The Work Time and Logbooks Rule then sets out the more detailed requirements – who must record their driving hours, when rest breaks must be taken, how records of hours worked must be kept and maintained, and how logbooks should be designed and used, and by whom, and so on.

There are also provisions within the Act that do not relate to either Rule (such as removal of the requirement for a goods service licence for the carriage of goods using vehicles with a gross laden weight of under 6000 kg) which also took effect on 1 October 2007.

How can I obtain a copy of these Rules?
Printed copies of the Operator Licensing Rule and the Work Time and Logbooks Rule can be purchased from selected bookshops throughout New Zealand that sell government legislation. A copy can also be obtained by contacting the printers and distributors (Wickliffe) at freephone 0800 226 440. The Rules are also available online in the Resources & manuals section.

How can I obtain further information about the Rules?
To obtain further information about these two Rules, you can contact the Land Transport NZ Contact Centre on freephone 0800 822 422.


General changes to work time and log book requirements

What was wrong with the previous system of recording driving hours?
Feedback from the transport industry suggests the previous system was too complex and wasn't as effective as it could be. For example, under previous law, hours spent driving had to be recorded separately to other 'on-duty' time, which made it harder to complete logbooks accurately and caused confusion about total hours to be calculated.

From 1 October 2007 a simpler system for calculating and recording work time was introduced.

How does the new system work?
Since 1 October 2007, all hours spent working must be recorded as work time hours regardless of whether driving is involved. This means that most drivers subject to work time requirements are required to take at least a 30 minute break after 5 ½ hours work time − no matter what type of work or driving is undertaken in that period.

There is also a limit of 13 hours of work time in any 24 hour period (known as a "cumulative work day"). In that cumulative work day, commercial drivers are required to take a break of at least 10 hours (as well as the standard half-hour breaks required every 5 ½ hours). A maximum of 70 hours of work time can be worked before a minimum 24 hour rest period must be taken ("cumulative work period"). This effectively means the number of hours that can be legally worked before a 24-hour break remains unchanged.

What happened in the previous regime?
Before 1 October 2007, commercial drivers must take a 30-minute break after 5½ hours of continuous driving. However, the time between rest breaks could be extended if a variety of work (e.g. loading and driving) occurred in that period.

Under previous law, commercial drivers were also limited to no more than 11 hours driving, or 14 hours on duty, and must take a minimum 9-hour break in any 24-hour period. A 24-hour break became mandatory after 66 hours driving or 70 hours on duty.

How have logbook requirements changed?
Removing the distinction between on-duty and driving hours enables a simpler and more consistent logbook form and a simplified process for logbook completion.

There are now two logbook forms – general use and taxi. Drivers who are required to maintain logbooks may use either type.  The new formats are shown below:

General use logbook form
General use logbook form

Taxi logbook form
Taxi logbook form

Under the previous law, once a logbook entry was made, entries must continue for a period of 10 days. However, this didn't always correspond with the point at which a 24-hour break became mandatory (66 hours driving or 70 hours on duty).

From 1 October 2007, logbook entries are only required to be kept for the period between one 24-hour break and the next. These changes will help to reduce compliance costs as well as remove confusion and the likelihood of errors (and the risk of being fined).

When will old logbooks become invalid?
From 1 July 2008 all old logbook forms will become invalid. The nine month transition period allows time for new logbook forms to be approved and printed, and for all drivers/companies to get up to speed with the new requirements and use up existing logbook stocks.

What if my fleet currently uses an approved electronic reporting system instead of logbooks?
Alternative methods for recording work time, such as real-time electronic reporting, will continue to be valid. The new law is actually more flexible about what systems may be used in place of logbooks. However, any operator who wishes to use an alternative system must first submit this for consideration and approval by the Director of Land Transport.

How do I obtain the new logbooks?
All current logbook suppliers have access to the new format specifications – therefore your current supplier should be able to produce and supply them. You can, however, continue to use your old logbook forms until 1 July 2008.

What information is available to help me correctly complete the new logbook form?
If you require further information, please call 0800 699 000 or email info@nzta.govt.nz

What new records must be kept by operators in relation to work time requirements?
From 1 October 2007, transport service operators must keep fuel and accommodation receipts for 12 months. This is in addition to the other information they are already required to hold in relation to work time (e.g. wage records).

Enforcement officers can request fuel and accommodation receipts to be produced to support other work time records if they have reason to believe an offence has been committed in relation to work time requirements.  This will assist in detecting breaches.

What are the penalties for breaching work time and logbook requirements?
Concerns expressed by the industry about the scale of work time/log book-related demerits originally proposed in regulations were considered by the government. As a result, a lower and more consistent level of penalties has been placed in the regulations.

Offence Demerits
Produced a logbook with 1 – 5 omissions 10
Produced a logbook with 6-10 omissions 20
Produced a logbook with 11 or more omissions 30
Failed to produce a logbook 35

Since 1 October 2007, any work time and logbook demerit points incurred have been applied to the driver’s general driver licence. The separate ‘operator demerits’ system no longer exists for commercial operators and drivers.

Who else can be held responsible for any breaches of work time requirements?
A new ‘chain of responsibility’ offence now applies to any person who requires, directs or allows a driver to breach a work time restriction. Recognising that a number of individuals may contribute to the decision to breach requirements, the ‘chain of responsibility’ principle also extends liability to people other than the driver of a vehicle or the manager of a company, who may also be liable for prosecution.

However, it has to be proven that the person knew, or ought to have known, the offence was occurring or was reasonably likely to occur. If an operator commits a breach of the requirements, he or she could be liable for a maximum fine of $25,000 upon conviction. This recognises the role that operators play in setting the requirements for drivers who breach the limits on work time.

Holders of current exemptions for work time and logbook requirements

I currently hold a driving hours or logbook exemption– is this still valid?
No, all work time and logbook exemptions that were issued previously expired on 1 April 2008.

What do I do if the nature of my work requires me to exceed normal work time requirements from time to time? (For example, harvesting crops or carrying perishable goods?)
You can apply to the Director for a temporary, short-term (14 day) variation to allowable work time or required rest breaks to address short-term, foreseeable operational requirements.

Some variations are already built into the new legislation. For example, a driver may count as a rest break a scheduled vehicle ferry trip of more than one hour’s duration, including time spent in the vehicle while the ferry is sailing. (Ferry departure and arrival times must be noted as the start and end of a rest break.)

Where longer term variations are sought, or where the unpredictable nature of the work requires a more flexible arrangement, variations to work time requirements should be managed under an approved Fatigue Management Scheme.

What’s a Fatigue Management Scheme?
A Fatigue Management Scheme (FMS) is a programme developed by an individual transport operator to manage driver fatigue – if approved this would be used in place of standard work time and/or log book requirements. The Director can approve an FMS developed by an operator, provided that drivers whose work time hours will be managed under the scheme have been consulted.

How do I apply to develop an FMS? What do I need to do to get one approved?
The process for developing and applying for approval of an FMS is in the process of being confirmed. If you are interested in applying, please call NZ Transport Agency Contact Centre on 0800 699 000. We will take your details so we can send you more information shortly.

Are temporary ‘on the spot’ exemptions still being granted if circumstances beyond my control require me to exceed work time hours?
No. Since 1 October 2007 no ‘on the spot’ work time exemptions have been granted. If the circumstances causing you to exceed work time requirements are beyond your control, e.g. a car crash causes a traffic jam, then this would be considered in your defence, were you to be prosecuted for exceeding these requirements.  Details about the nature of the delay must be recorded in your logbook, or by some other means either at the time or as soon as possible after the event.

Emergency and essential services

Are there still work time exemptions for emergency services?
General provision is made for emergency workers to respond to a major incident, even if this takes them beyond their allowed work time hours for that particular day. Most volunteer firemen, for example, have day jobs, yet their community requires them to be available in the event of a fire or vehicle crash.

What is now considered an emergency?
Three types of emergency are recognised under law:

  • a civil defence emergency
  • an incident attended by an emergency service
  • urgent action to save life or prevent injury

For example, a major road crash (attended by Fire, Police and Ambulance) that prevents a driver from completing their journey on time would be considered an emergency.

What about essential services, such as electrical workers carrying out emergency repairs?
Essential services workers will be allowed to exceed normal work time hours when there is an urgent requirement to restore services or access. Examples of essential services include electricity, water, gas and road repair workers.

A person who requires a driver to extend their work time hours to attend to an essential service must record the hours worked, the name of the person working those hours and the situation that required the variation. A record of this information must be kept for 12 months by that person and produced on demand to an enforcement officer.

How were emergency workers' driving hours managed in the previous regime?
Since 1988, emergency workers’ driving hours have been managed via Gazette notices and exemption letters issued on behalf of the Secretary for Transport. The Director of Land Transport has subsequently introduced variations within the existing requirements for managing driving hours.

An example of these variations has been the treatment of response call-outs by the emergency services. For example, the terms of the variations to driving hours requirements granted to the New Zealand Fire Service were different to those in the variations allowed for ambulance services. Other emergency services, such as rural fire response groups, were not included in these arrangements.

The new legislation sets out a framework in which each emergency service is treated in a consistent way.

Agricultural workers

Are agricultural workers subject to the new work time requirements?
Yes. As before, agricultural workers who drive vehicles which are subject to work time limits must comply with the new work time requirements.


Small passenger service industry

What key changes affect all small passenger services?
Under the Operator Licensing Rule, small passenger services are categorised as taxi services, shuttle services, private hire services, dial-a-driver services or other services using a small passenger service vehicle.

Since 1989, for operational purposes, all small passenger service vehicles have been treated, in law, as taxis. Operators of small passenger service vehicles that are not taxis (e.g, a shuttle or limousine) have had to apply to be exempted from the rules that didn't relate to the particular service they provided. The requirements for each category are now defined in the Rule so exemptions are no longer required.

Another general change that affects driver identification (ID) requirements is the requirement for the unique identifier on the driver ID card to be a combination of letters that can be easily recalled by a passenger. The Director of Land Transport may also assign a number to a unique identifier where there is more than one holder of a name (e.g. Sean 01, Sean 02).

From 1 October 2007, new TSL applicants are no longer required to publicly notify their intention to operate a passenger service.

Are there any resources available to help passenger service operators understand these changes?
Yes, NZ Transport Agency has developed a booklet Hire standards which contains detailed information on how these new requirements affect each type of passenger service. Copies can be ordered by calling 0800 699 000.

Why can't the unique identifier on ID cards be made up of numbers only?
The use of unique identifiers on a driver ID card enables passengers to easily identify the driver, therefore, they should be able to be easily recalled by passengers. Unique identifiers with numbers only are not sufficiently memorable to be easily recalled by users of small passenger services.

What happens to driver ID cards that currently consist of numbers only?
These driver ID cards will continue to be valid until they expire. When the cards are renewed, the unique identifier will be invalidated and replaced with one made up of letters approved by the Director. If necessary, the Director will also assign a number to a unique identifier to distinguish between drivers where there is more than one holder of a name.

What changes have been made to fares and why?
Previous legislation required that fares, charges and multiple hire discounts (for taxis only) be registered with the Director before being displayed in or on any small passenger service vehicles. From 1 October 2007 the law clarifies that these fares must be inclusive of GST, if charged.

What changes have been made to fare receipts and why?
Under the previous regime, small passenger vehicle fare receipts must show the fare, any special charges, the driver’s unique identifier and the registration number of the vehicle. From 1 October 2007 receipts must also include the GST number (if GST is charged), the name of the ATO (for taxis only) and the date of hire. This provides passengers with extra essential information and support compliance with Inland Revenue requirements.

From 1 October 2007 all taxis displaying the same signage must also charge the same registered fare schedule.

Changes affecting taxi drivers

How do the new work time requirements affect taxi drivers?
Taxi drivers are required to take a break after 7 hours work time, rather than the standard 5 ½ hours. This is because the nature of the work involves periods of inactivity while waiting for a fare, and driving is therefore unlikely to be continuous.
However, if any journey exceeds 100km, the driver is required to take a break after the standard 5 ½ hours work time. The same requirement applies if the taxi driver also drives another class of vehicle subject to work time requirements within the cumulative working day. (see General changes to work time and log book requirements).

What has changed in relation to Area Knowledge Certificates for taxi drivers?
Previously, taxi drivers were only required to hold an Area Knowledge Certificate (AKC) for the area in which their ATO operated. For example, this might mean only North Shore City, or Lower Hutt City − not the whole metropolitan area.

From 1 April 2008, Auckland and Wellington taxi drivers must hold AKCs for the entire metropolitan area in which they operate. Taxi drivers who had been operating before 1 October 2006 are considered to have met this requirement provided they held an AKC for at least one area.

In some smaller areas, the previous AKC requirement has been removed.
 
Why are tougher requirements being introduced for Auckland and Wellington drivers?
The change was made in response to feedback received from both the taxi industry and taxi customers who called for taxi driver standards, in terms of local area knowledge, to be improved. It also reflects the higher public expectations of taxi drivers who operate in metropolitan areas.

What will be done if a taxi driver does not have good local area knowledge?
The Director can require drivers without adequate area knowledge to re-sit the AKC test. The Director can also revoke the approval of an ATO if its drivers do not have adequate area knowledge.

So, if a complaint is made about a driver getting lost, will he/she have to re-sit the area knowledge test? And if they fail would their ‘P’ (passenger) endorsement be revoked?
An AKC allows a taxi driver to operate in a particular area. It is not a requirement for getting a P-endorsement. However if the Director believes a driver has inadequate area knowledge, they can be required to re-sit the AKC test, if applicable.

There is an established process for the NZ Transport Agency to investigate complaints, and address problems where necessary, before a person's AKC (where one is required) is revoked.

What will be done if a taxi driver is not able to communicate in English?
Taxi drivers are expected to be able to receive and understand directions given by passengers, and also to be able to communicate with their passengers in terms of taking the fare, etc. From 1 October 2007, the Director can require a driver to undergo an English language test or complete an approved course if they are found to have an ongoing inability to communicate adequately in English, even if they had passed an AKC test, which is conducted in English.

How do you measure a person's English language ability − what level is expected of taxi drivers?
Taxi drivers will be expected to be able to receive and understand directions given by passengers, and communicate with their passenger about the fare. The AKC test includes oral and written questions in English, so it covers some of the necessary language skills. ATOs will continue to be responsible for ensuring that their members have an appropriate ability to communicate in English.

Does the new requirement to display a TSL number apply to taxi services?
Yes. From 1 October 2007, taxi operators must ensure that every taxi used under their TSL displays their TSL number on the forward doors on both sides of the vehicle.

This information is in addition to the previous requirement for taxi operators to display on every taxi the name, business location and telephone number of the ATO to which they belong and the unique fleet number assigned by the ATO to the vehicle.

Are there any changes in terms of taxi driver duties and conduct?
Previous rules applying to taxi drivers were carried over into the new legislation − including those that related to accepting and refusing a hire; cruising for hire; fares; use of fare meters; multiple hiring; luggage; left-behind property; use of designated taxi stands; obstruction of other small passenger service vehicles or road; and use of the most advantageous route to hirer.

Approved taxi organisations (ATOs)

What has changed for ATOs?
Several key changes specifically affect ATOs. These relate to:

  • introduction of a Certificate of Knowledge of Law and Practice (CKLP) specifically for ATOs
  • strengthening the responsibilities of ATOs in respect of their members and drivers.

Why introduce a CKLP for ATOs?
Although the CKLP has been a prerequisite to obtaining a TSL since 1992, there has been no similar requirement for applicants who applied to be an ATO.

From 1 October 2007 all new ATO applicants, or another person who is to have control of the ATO, must sit and pass the CKLP for ATOs.

This new requirement will ensure that a key person within an ATO has adequate knowledge of the rules and regulations that apply to ATOs, holders of a passenger service licence and taxi drivers.

What about ATOs that existed before the new Rule - are they required to sit the new CKLP?
No, anyone who is in control of an ATO as at 1 October 2007 is deemed to hold a CKLP for ATOs. However, these persons can be required to re-sit and pass the new CKLP if the Director believes that they do not have sufficient knowledge of legal requirements.

What does the CKLP for ATOs consist of?
Each CKLP test is designed to cover legislative requirements relating to operation of a particular transport service. The detailed content of the new CKLP for ATOs is being developed by the NZ Transport Agency in conjunction with the taxi industry and appropriate industry training organisations.

What responsibilities do ATOs have for their members?
From 1 October 2007 an ATO must:

  • ensure its members who operate a taxi service hold a passenger service licence
  • ensure its drivers, or its members’ drivers hold a current driver licence, passenger (P) endorsement and photographic driver ID card
  • ensure that changes to its existing approved signage or new signage are approved by the Director
  • ensure the telephone number relating to each approved signage is advertised in the White Pages of the telephone directory covering the area in which the service operates, as soon as practicable after the signage is approved by the Director
  • notify the Director of a change in its business address or telephone number, within 14 days of a change occurring
  • report details to the Director within 48 hours of a driver whose membership of or employment under the ATO has been terminated due to improper behaviour, including violence, assaults, sexual offences, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • report details to the Director within 48 hours of a serious complaint (similar in nature to those for terminating a driver’s membership or employment)
  • record the log-on and log-off times of its drivers, and retain those records for 12 months
  • ensure its members only use signage that has been approved by the Director and display the fare schedule and a telephone number in respect of that signage
  • ensure that from 01 October 2008 its members display vital information in Braille to improve security for visually-impaired passengers.

Why has the accountability of ATOs been significantly strengthened?
It is recognised that ATOs can and do have significant influence over the standards of safety and service of their members and drivers. There have been strong calls from the taxi industry itself that ATOs be made more accountable for its members and drivers in order to improve the quality of taxi services.

What compliance costs are being imposed on ATOs from the new requirements?
The additional costs that the new requirements impose on ATOs will largely depend on the extent to which ATOs are already monitoring the standards of their members and drivers. ATOs that have systems in place at present will incur minimal compliance costs.

How can ATOs find out the licence status of their drivers or of drivers employed by their members?

Along with all transport service operators, ATOs have the option of registering with the new Transport Organisation Registration Online (TORO), an Internet site operated by the NZ Transport Agency since March 2008 that enables individuals or companies to check the licence status of their drivers. To be part of this scheme, a company must first register with the NZ Transport Agency and provide details of its drivers (full name, date of birth, driver licence number and version number). The company must also obtain the driverís written consent to receive information about them via TORO. Once a driver is added to the TORO operator list, the company can view information about the driverís licence including the classes and endorsements held, any conditions on the licence, and the status of the licence. The NZ Transport Agency will also advise the company automatically (via email) if any of the following occurs for one of their drivers: the licence status changes (if the licence class or endorsement is expired, suspended, disqualified or revoked) a passenger endorsement is due to expire soon any new medical conditions are added to the licence, or existing medical conditions are changed, a warning letter is issued because the licence holder has accrued 50 or more demerit points within a 2-year period, a licence suspension letter is issued because the licence holder has accrued 100 or more demerit points within the same period.

Future enhancements to TORO may include the ability for operators to link vehicles and sub-contracting operators to their operator list and to manage certain company details online.

ATOs who are interested in registering with TORO should contact their local regional office of the NZ Transport Agency.

How much does joining TORO cost?
TORO services are free of charge.

Why require ATOs to record drivers’ log-on and log-off times?
Taxi drivers are subject to work-time restrictions, including being liable for driving hours and logbook offences. This requirement also enables ATOs to identify and verify which drivers were on duty in the case of serious incidents, by quickly checking against their log-on/log-off records.

This reflects the increasing legal emphasis on ATOs having adequate control over its drivers.

Does this mean that taxi drivers no longer need to keep a logbook?
No. Taxi drivers will continue to be responsible for completing their logbook entries, as they are required to do currently.

Why require ATOs to report serious complaints within 48 hours?
The ability to take swift action against a driver who is suspected to no longer be a fit-and-proper person to drive a taxi can be hampered by a lack of timely information. This proposal strengthens the NZ Transport Agency’s ability to take action against these reported drivers.

What constitutes a serious complaint?
These are complaints that involve driver violence, assault, sexual offences, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or dangerous or reckless driving.

How many different brand names or ‘signage’ can one ATO operate?
ATOs may operate more than one brand name or signage (and corresponding fare structure) provided they target different markets. However, any new signage being introduced must be approved by the Director as sufficiently distinguishable from the signage of any other ATO operating in the same area.

This is because an ATO’s signage may have implications for the safety of taxi passengers – it is important that a complainant be able to clearly identify the company to which the taxi belongs. This provision should also help consumers to identify quality service and improve consumer protection.

Existing signage can be used until replaced by new approved signage. An approved signage that has been replaced is null and void and its use must be discontinued.

What information in Braille must be displayed and where?
From 1 October 2008, information in Braille must be displayed on the inside of the front passenger door in a form approved by the Director. This will include the name of the ATO, number of the car (fleet number) and a contact telephone number for the ATO. The cost of the new Braille requirement is estimated at approximately $54 per Braille label.

Shuttle services

What is a shuttle?
The legal definition of a shuttle is a ‘small passenger service vehicle that was originally designed to carry no fewer than eight persons and no more than 12 persons, including the driver’. In addition, the vehicle is used for hire or reward for the carriage of passengers who must begin or end their trip at a defined start or end point such as an airport, or a bus or ferry terminal, or a railway station.

What has changed for shuttle service operators?
Shuttle services are now considered a new category of small passenger service (previously they operated under an exemption from taxi requirements).

Operators must continue to comply with the rules that apply to all small passenger services and also with the rules that apply specifically to shuttles previously contained under exemptions − for example, shuttle services must operate between registered start or finish points, and a shuttle may not cruise for hire.

New requirements including the clarification that the start and end point must be a registered point such as an airport, a bus or ferry terminal, or a railway station: these points must continue to be registered with the Director. However, shuttle drivers must also clearly display the transport service licence holder’s name, business location and telephone number on the outside and inside of the vehicle. The licence holder must also ensure the display of his or her transport service licence (TSL) number on both forward doors of the vehicle. A shuttle service is also only allowed to charge according to a pre-determined fare schedule (although this may contain a range of rates).

Are shuttles required to display a fare schedule?
No. However, a schedule of standard fares must be carried in a shuttle and be made available to passengers on request. A notice must be clearly displayed on the inside or outside of the shuttle to advise passengers of its availability from the driver.

Private hire services

How do private hire services differ from taxi and shuttle services?
Private hire services are pre-booked on an agreed fare basis. Examples of private hire services are limousines and private charter tours.

The operator of the service must register the nature of the private hire service and general area of operation with the Director.

How do I register my service with the Director?
To register details of your service with the Director, you should call the NZ Transport Agency Contact Centre (0800 822 422) to have a registration form sent out to you.

Must private hire vehicles display a TSL number?
No. The new requirement to display a TSL number on vehicle doors will not apply to private hire vehicles. Under the previous regime, these vehicles were exempted from having to display operator identification. However, drivers of private hire services must now produce the following information to an enforcement officer when required:

  • the full name of the holder of the passenger service licence
  • the location of the business
  • the telephone number of the business
  • the transport service licence number
  • a copy of the Director’s acknowledgement of registration.

‘Dial-a-driver’-type services

What changes affect ‘dial-a-driver’ type services?
From 1 October 2007  dial-a-driver-type services are considered ‘passenger services’ and, therefore, all dial-a-driver type service operators must now hold a Passenger Service Licence. However a CKLP is not required.

A current photographic identification card must also be worn by all drivers while on duty (unique identifier to be displayed on card cannot be made up of numbers only).

How do I apply for a passenger service licence?
N/A

Why are dial-a-driver drivers required to wear photographic ID cards?
ID card requirements for drivers engaged in these services should be consistent with those of other small passenger service drivers. This requirement subjects them to yearly ‘fit and proper person’ assessments, including annual Police vetting, and provides users of such services with a greater sense of safety and personal security.

Does this mean higher compliance cost for dial-a-driver drivers?
Yes. These drivers will incur the cost of obtaining a driver ID card and annual Police vetting. Currently it costs $8.50 for a driver ID card and $28.20 for Police vetting.

Exempt passenger services

What are exempt passenger services?
They are passenger services that are exempt from licensing requirements. This means:

  • operators are exempt from holding a passenger service licence (and, therefore, from the CKLP requirement)
  • drivers are not required to hold a P endorsement or photo ID card (and, therefore, are not subject to annual fit-and-proper person assessments, including Police vetting)
  • vehicles used in these services do not have to be certified as a passenger service vehicle (PSV) and comply with PSV standards, nor are they subject to six-monthly Certificate of Fitness inspections and signage requirements.

What passenger services were exempt in the previous regime?
The following services were previously exempt from holding a passenger service licence, and continue to be exempt, under modified conditions:

  • a passenger service operated by or under the control of a district health board, local authority or incorporated charitable organisation
  • a passenger service transporting people to or from their place of employment or business involving a cost-sharing arrangement between occupants of the vehicle
  • a passenger service operated exclusively for the purpose of providing relief or assistance during a state of emergency
  • a service where the vehicle used is a large passenger service vehicle hired from a person who holds both a passenger service licence and a rental service licence and the only payments made in respect of the vehicle hire to the hirer are payments reimbursing that person for the costs of hiring and operating the vehicle
  • a passenger service that involves the transporting of school children by parents or caregivers in return for a Ministry of Education private transport allowance
  • a passenger service provided by persons providing home or community support services.

What additional passenger services are exempt from 1 October 2007

New exempt passenger services include:

  • a passenger service involving the transporting of children and their escorts to or from any activity of a school or institution providing pre-school education
  • a passenger service provided by an organisation offering liquor, meals and refreshments for consumption on licensed premises, where a fee or fare is not required of its passengers

So what has changed for exempt passenger services?
Since 1 October 2007 the Rule has:

  • allowed exempt passenger services to use vehicles that are designed or adapted to carry not more than 12 persons (including the driver); vehicles with a carrying capacity of up to 9 persons only are allowed at present
  • allowed drivers to be staff members of the organisation providing the service, where applicable; (volunteer drivers only are allowed in some cases at present)
  • allowed some organisations to receive external third-party funding for the transport, where applicable (e.g. registered charities and providers of home and community support services)
  • clarified that reimbursement for the running cost of the vehicle may be made by an organisation to a staff member or volunteer driver who provides the vehicle, and the same clarification applies to any payment made by a passenger to an organisation or a driver
  • allowed vehicles used to be provided by the organisation (i.e. not just those vehicles provided by the volunteer driver or staff member)
  • widened the car-pooling provision to include all carpooling activities operated under genuine cost-sharing arrangements, defined as including components like fuel cost and reasonable wear and tear of a vehicle, but not any infringement fee or compensation for a driver’s time.

Why have these changes been made?
These changes clarify and extend the conditions governing existing exempt passenger services, in particular, those operated by incorporated charitable organisations, local authorities and district health boards. Allowing the receipt of third-party funding for the transport service recognises the non-profit nature of charitable organisations and the need for them to raise funds from external sources.


Services using large passenger service vehicles (i.e. bus services)

What are the main changes for bus operators?
As with most TSL holders, bus operators must display their TSL number on the exterior of each vehicle operated under that TSL.

New TSL applicants are no longer required to publicly notify their intention to operate a passenger service. Previous holders of a CKLP can be required to pass or resit if ordered to by the Director.

Are bus drivers in urban centres required to keep logbooks?
Provided their regular rosters meet the proposed criteria, urban bus drivers are exempt from logbook use. This exemption also applies to charter work or school bus routes where those routes are part of a driver's roster and proper records of hours worked are maintained and available. However, logbooks are still required to be kept for any week in which drivers are called in for additional work to cover sickness or absence.

Are tour bus drivers still exempt from some work time requirements to drive on tours?
Not automatically. All previous exemptions expired on 1 April 2008. Tour bus operators need to apply to the Director for approval of a permanent variation to work time requirements to replace the current exemptions. This can be done by submitting all necessary itineraries for approval. An approval once given must be carried.


Goods services

What are the new requirements for goods service licence holders?

  • A change in the definition of goods service means that the carriage of goods using vehicles with a gross laden weight (GLW) of under 6000 kg no longer requires a goods service licence (GSL), but drivers of heavy motor vehicles (i.e. with a GLW of more than 3,500 kg) used to carry goods for hire or reward are still subject to the new work time requirements.
  • Vehicles of 6000 kg and over must display their GSL number on the forward doors of each vehicle.
  • A certificate of responsibility must be carried in the vehicle if vehicle is borrowed.
  • GSL holders must re-sit and pass the CKLP <link> following their GSL being revoked, or if required by the Director of Land Transport if a lack of knowledge is detected.
  • GSL holders that are bodies corporate must notify the Director of changes in name, persons in control, address and status.

Why are vehicles under 6000 kg no longer required to have a goods service licence?
The current licensing requirements for all vehicles were reviewed in 1998 to more effectively target compliance and enforcement resources to risk, in particular, risk posed by operators of heavy motor vehicles. This law change is one of the outcomes of the transport licensing review.

It was found that commercial vehicles under 6,000 kg gross laden weight were over regulated in relation to the safety risk they posed. This change also reduces some compliance costs for operators of commercial vehicles, often operating as small businesses, without compromising safety.

What were the previous requirements?
Previously, a goods service licence was required for the carriage of goods for hire or reward, regardless of the vehicle weight, or for carrying goods in a motor vehicle with a gross laden weight of 6000 kg or more, regardless of whether hire or reward was involved.

Driving hours restrictions previously applied to all drivers of goods service vehicles and all drivers of vehicles with a gross laden weight (GLW) of more than 4,500 kg, requiring any of class 2 to class 5 driver licence.

Drivers of goods service vehicles, with a GLW of over 3,500 kg were required to keep logbooks.

Who do I contact to find out if I require a goods service licence?
You can contact the NZ Transport Agency Contact Centre on 0800 822 422.

Are any goods vehicles exempt under the new logbook requirements?
As was the case previously, the Rule does not require drivers of a goods vehicle that requires a Class 2 licence to keep logbooks, as long as the vehicle is driven within a 50 km radius of normal business location. This is also extended, with conditions, to 50 km from a temporary base of operations.


Rental services

What changes impact on rental services and why were they made?
The requirements that previously applied to rental services were highly prescriptive and were considered to be disproportionate to the risks they posed. To address these concerns, legal requirements that applied to rental services have been simplified.

Key changes affecting rental services are:

  • applicants for a rental service licence no longer require a CKLP
  • requirements for the rental hire agreement are simplified
  • rental service operators are allowed to debit a vehicle hirer’s credit card to pay infringement fees for traffic offences.

Why exempt applicants for rental service licence from holding a CKLP?
Simplifying the rules that apply to rental services will greatly reduce the already limited range of topics covered by the CKLP rental service module and the number of questions that can be asked in the CKLP examination. The need for such an examination is, therefore, not warranted.

Why are rental service vehicles not required to display a TSL number?
Rental service vehicles were previously not required to display any operator identification for practical reasons, e.g. if a car is obviously a rented vehicle, it becomes a more likely target for theft.

A holder of a rental service licence must enter into a written agreement with a hirer of a rental service vehicle and the hirer must ensure a copy of this is kept in the vehicle and must produce it for inspection on demand by an enforcement officer. Details of the licence holder, including the TSL number, must be specified in the agreement.

How will new rental service operators know about their legal obligations?
Key legislative requirements relating to operating a rental service are being communicated to rental service operators by way of application information.

How have requirements for the rental agreement been simplified?
Previously, the wording in the rental agreement was tightly prescribed by law − rental companies had no flexibility in setting out a form that suited their business needs. Since 1 October 2007, a rental agreement must legally contain certain items but operators now have the flexibility of wording these items and include other items that they consider to be appropriate.

What has changed in relation to the hirer’s liability for infringement fees?
From 1 October 2007, rental car companies have the option of passing on fines to overseas-based customers by charging any traffic infringement fees to their customer's credit card.

What fines can be passed on?
Infringement fees resulting from ‘owner liability offences’ (speed camera, traffic signal and parking infringements, and any future toll offences) committed during the period of the hire.

What safeguards are in place to prevent incorrect traffic infringements being charged to customers’ credit cards?
A number of safeguards have been put in place to protect customers. For example, the rental contract must contain a clear statement warning customers that infringement fees may be charged to their credit cards for specific offences. Copies of an infringement notice and reminder notice must be provided to the customer, within 5 working days of receipt of notice, to prove that the offence was committed during the period of his or her hire.

Will a hirer be able to dispute the offence and charge?
Hirers will be advised they have the right to challenge, complain, query or object to an offence to the issuing enforcement authority, as well as the right to seek a court hearing within the permitted time period.

The person who has been charged may also dispute the charge with their issuing bank, and seek evidence that appropriate protocols have been followed. As is the case with other credit card transactions, the charge will be reversed if satisfactory evidence cannot be provided that the charge was correctly applied.

Is the debiting of a hirer’s credit card by rental service operators for paying infringement fees mandatory?
No. Rental service operators will not be obliged to take part in this scheme – it is optional.

What will happen if a rental service operator chooses not to debit their hirer’s credit card?
They may, if they wish, continue with existing arrangements. That is, if they do not wish to pay the ticket, they complete a statutory declaration and advise the name and address of the person who hired the vehicle. This is sent to the authority that issued the infringement notice (i.e. New Zealand Police or a road controlling authority) that would then amend their records to reflect the nominated driver's details and take necessary actions against that person.

Will rental car companies be able to charge a processing fee for handling infringement notices?
Yes. A rental car company will be able to charge an administration fee on the debit charge. This must be stated in the rental agreement.

What if the customer pays cash for the rental car hire?
This is not a common occurrence. Only a few rental customers pay for their car hire in cash. In such cases, the company generally demands a large deposit to cover any repairs and incidental costs such as petrol. In these cases, the company has the option to either take the cost of the infringement fee out of the deposit (if stipulated in the contract) or refer the ticket back to the ticket-issuing authority, as they can do at the moment.


Vehicle recovery services

What changes impact on vehicle recovery services?
The four key changes are:

  • Vehicle Recovery Service Licence number must be displayed on the front vehicle doors.
  • Holders of a vehicle recovery service licence are responsible for the conduct of their drivers and employees based at their business location in respect of that vehicle recovery service.
  • Drivers of a vehicle recovery service vehicle must behave in an ‘orderly and civil’ manner while operating the vehicle.
  • Applicants for a vehicle recovery licence are no longer required to publicly notify their intention to apply for this licence.

Why are these changes necessary?
The display of the TSL number on the vehicle doors will enhance the existing requirement to display operator identification on a vehicle recovery service vehicle. It will also enable the Police to quickly identify at the roadside the licence under which the vehicle is being operated.

The requirement for tow operators to be responsible for the conduct of their drivers and employees addresses complaints about tow yard staff using intimidating tactics and behaving in an inappropriate manner towards members of the public. It also aligns with a similar requirement that applies to drivers of a small passenger service vehicle.

Are vehicle recovery drivers required to keep logbooks?
Vehicle recovery drivers are not required to keep a logbook as long as they keep records of all tow authorities (authorisation forms required for each towing job) for a minimum of 12 months.


General changes affecting TSL holders

Display of Transport Service Licence number

Why do the majority of Transport Service Licence (TSL) holders have to display their TSL number on the vehicles they operate?
Despite existing requirements to display a licence holder's name and business location on vehicles, the Police have highlighted problems in identifying the operator who is responsible for a vehicle. This new requirement will provide the Police with the unique identification information, i.e. the TSL number, to quickly determine at the roadside the licence under which the vehicle is being operated. In the case of taxis, enforcement officers will be able to determine if a taxi service is licensed.

Where is the TSL number to be displayed on vehicle?
The TSL number must be displayed on the two forward doors of a transport service vehicle. This could be done by painting the number on the vehicle door, or using a magnetic strip or self-adhesive stickers with a pre-printed TSL number.

How much will this cost operators?
The cost to operators of complying with this new requirement will depend on the format operators choose to use, i.e. door-painting, magnetic strip or self-adhesive sticker.

How does this relate to the proposal to introduce labels incorporating a barcode with the TSL number which the NZ Transport Agency recently consulted on?
The proposed TSL label will complement the requirement for vehicles to display or carry their TSL number by making it easier for the NZ Transport Agency and the Police to identify the operator of the vehicle.

Does this mean licence holders no longer need to display their name and business location?
No, licence holders must continue to display their name and business location on the vehicle.

What is a Certificate of Responsibility?
A Certificate of Responsibility formally transfers legal responsibility for the operation of a vehicle from its owner to the borrower and is required when a vehicle is loaned to a transport service operator to be used under his or her transport service licence. The vehicle owner is required to obtain this Certificate from the borrower and retain it for not less than 12 months. This Certificate contains detailed particulars of the borrower, including their TSL number.

Why do I need to carry a copy of the Certificate of Responsibility?
Current industry practice is characterised by more flexible vehicle ownership and use arrangements by operators, resulting in the widespread use of leased vehicles, trailer-swaps, sub-contracting and company consolidations. Vehicles can now be expected to operate under a different TSL at different times of the day, week, month or year, or over a longer period.

The borrower of a vehicle (who is a transport service operator) was not required under the old regime to ensure that the driver carries a Certificate of Responsibility and therefore an enforcement officer had no way of validating at the roadside that the vehicle was being operated by someone other than the registered vehicle owner or the operator whose name and TSL number were displayed on the vehicle. With this new requirement to carry and produce a copy of the Certificate when demanded, the Police will be able to quickly identify the TSL number under which the borrowed vehicle is being operated.

What is a Certificate of Knowledge of Law and Practice (CKLP)?
CKLP is a Certificate that shows its holder has the required knowledge of the laws and practices relating to the safe and proper operation of a transport service. It is a prerequisite to applying for a TSL. Since 1992, unless specifically exempted, no one has been entitled to obtain a TSL unless that person, or some person who has, or is to have, control of the service, holds a CKLP.

What changes are being made to the CKLP?
The requirements of the CKLP will be strengthened in terms of empowering the Director to require persons to sit/resit and pass the appropriate CKLP examination in the following two situations:

  • when a licence holder reapplies for a TSL at the end of their disqualification period.

This change is aimed at ensuring that licence holders or persons in control of a transport service who have been disqualified (for a maximum period of 10 years) demonstrate they have the required knowledge.

  • if the Director believes a TSL holder (or the holder of a CKLP for ATOs − see section 7 of the Rule) does not have adequate knowledge of the laws and practices.

This is to ensure that those with inadequate knowledge of the relevant laws and practices demonstrate they have the required knowledge.

What changes will affect a body corporate that holds a TSL?
From 1 October 2007 a body corporate that is a licence holder or a person having control of the transport service must notify the Director of any change in:

  • the name of the body corporate
  • the names of the people who control the body corporate
  • the residential address of those people
  • the business address of the body corporate
  • the status of the body corporate (e.g., merger, amalgamation).

Why are the changes required?
Previously, there was no requirement for a body corporate that held a TSL to notify the Director of a change of name or business address. In a recent check, the NZ Transport Agency found that more than 2000 body corporate names had changed. This type of inaccuracy has resulted in multiple licences being issued in the same name, and has created difficulties in identifying licence holders for investigations. This requirement will enhance the integrity of the NZ Transport Agency's register of transport service licences and is linked to the proposal for TSL numbers to be displayed.

What changes relate to transport service vehicles being impounded if a TSL is suspended or revoked or disqualified?
If a person is caught operating a transport service when their transport service licence has been suspended or revoked, or when they have been disqualified from operating a transport service, the Land Transport Act 1998 empowers the Police to impound their vehicle for 28 days.

This provision also applies to unlicensed operators who are operating a service that should be licensed. Offenders will be forbidden to operate on first detection of an offence, and will face impoundment on a second or subsequent offence. Anyone whose vehicle has been impounded under this provision can appeal the impoundment.

What changes relate to applying for a transport service licence if you have been disqualified from holding or obtaining a transport service licence?
It is an offence to apply for a transport service licence while disqualified from holding or obtaining one.

The maximum penalty is three months imprisonment or a fine of $4,500 and courts must order the person to be disqualified from holding or obtaining a transport service licence for 6 months or more.

Page created 22 April 2008