New commercial vehicle safety centre coming to SH1/3 soon


Construction will soon get underway on the new commercial vehicle safety centre (CVSC) that’s set to be built outside RNZAF Base Ohakea, in Manawatū.

These facilities are part of the national Commercial Vehicle Safety Programme (CVSP) which is developing an integrated network of cameras, weigh in motions and safety centres covering strategic routes across NZ. These facilities aim to improve road safety, ensure a level playing field for industry and encourage compliant vehicle productivity.

The new CVSC will replace the old New Zealand Police weigh station on State Highway 1/3 near Bulls. It is one of 12 facilities Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is building on high-volume freight routes around the country for the NZ Police to operate.

The CVSC sites use advanced integrated roadside technology to screen passing vehicles 24/7, such as weigh-in-motion or in-road scales, automatic number plate recognition cameras and electronic signs.

Any potentially unsafe or non-compliant vehicles are directed into a CVSC, and Police officers can undertake checks on vehicle weight, road user charges (RUC), certificate of fitness, logbook and driver impairment, and the information gathered 24/7 is used to understand trends and focus on operator risk.

The new, high-tech facility will be built on Pukenui Road, outside the air force base. This location is where a new permanent double-laned roundabout and shared user path is also being constructed as part of a separate safety improvement project, which is due to be completed in mid-2024.

The location has been chosen for a CVSC site because it is a vital link to the central and lower North Island and is a high-volume freight route with more than 2000 heavy vehicles passing daily. The construction of the new permanent roundabout on the state highway also means trucks can safely enter the site from both directions.

Everyday motorists will not be directed into a CVSC when they’re passing. Light vehicles will have their licence plates scanned and information is anonymised within seconds of being captured to maintain privacy. The exception to this is in the case of stolen vehicles.

Commercial Vehicle Safety Programme Manager Sean Bridge says the programme supports the Road to Zero strategy and the Waka Kotahi aim for a road system free of death and serious injury.

“It will help deliver a more level playing field for the heavy vehicle industry and improve road safety outcomes across the transport system.

“Enforcing weight restrictions and other forms of non-compliance, safe driving practices and road-ready vehicles is an integral part of keeping all road users safe and protecting the road network from damage,” says Mr Bridge.

Downer is the contractor for the Ohakea CVSC.

Downer Regional Manager for Manawatū Matthew Tipping says the business is excited for its regional construction teams, Hawkins and Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) to be involved in the programme, and will strive to provide the best service and outcomes.

“The programme also offers excellent employment opportunities for provincial New Zealand, and our Downer whānau will focus on developing our people’s skills and career paths.”

SH1/SH3 Bulls to Sanson Commercial Vehicle Safety Programme site map [PDF, 107 KB]

Other key facts about the CVSP

  1. The programme aims to increase heavy vehicle weight compliance without impacting upon productivity or imposing unnecessary cost on compliant vehicles.
  2. The information gathered 24/7 allows Waka Kotahi and Police tobetter direct their resources, make intelligence- led decisions, interventions and investments that address risk in the heavy vehicle industry.

CVSCs will be used increasingly as multi-agency facilities in joint education, compliance and/or enforcement operations between the Police, Waka Kotahi and organisations such as the Environmental Protection Authority, WorkSafe, various ministries, regional councils and rural health providers 

More information on projects happening in the Bulls to Sanson corridor can be found on our project page:
SH1/SH3 Bulls to Sanson

More information on the CVSP can be found on our website:
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Programme