This rule covers safety and maintenance requirements for equipment fitted to motor vehicles: warning devices, speedometers, sun visors, mudguards, footrests on motorcycles and mopeds, child restraints, televisions, fuel tanks and fuel lines.
The rule is available in consolidated format (ie, a full, up-to-date, version of the rule including all its amendments) or as the original, unamended rule with separate amendment rules. Choose the option that best suits your needs from the list below.
To access the consolidated version of the rule (available only in PDF format), click on ‘Consolidation’ below.
The electronic versions of legislation on this website, and any legislation printed from the website:
Questions and answers are provided to accompany a new rule or amendment rule when it is signed. 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.
The Land Transport Safety Authority (NZ Transport Agency) is converting existing land transport regulations into Land Transport Rules. This conversion is already well under way. The Vehicle Equipment Rule revises and brings together some regulations relating to safety requirements for equipment fitted in vehicles.
Most of the requirements in the rule bring together or clarify existing vehicle equipment law. Equipment covered includes:
Fuel tanks and fuel lines must now be checked at warrant of fitness (WoF) and certificate of fitness (CoF) inspections. While these items of equipment have always been required to be safe, the rule now specifically includes them as an inspection requirement.
The rule continues to allow child restraints manufactured to European, United States and Australian standards (our main source markets) to be used here, but a new Japanese Technical Standard has been approved for child restraints which are fitted to the vehicle when it’s manufactured (in-built).
For more details, view the rule here.
While safety requirements for vehicle equipment are already in place, the rule makes the requirements clearer for vehicle owners and inspecting organisations.
The rule shouldn’t affect most vehicle owners as most vehicles already have the required equipment and are also likely to meet the new requirements relating to fuel tanks and fuel lines.
The rule mostly clarifies wording for people or companies that carry out WoF and CoF inspections.
Vehicles will be checked as usual through the normal warrant of fitness and certificate of fitness processes. The Police will also enforce the requirements as usual during their roadside checks.
There’s no change – they’re still required to be in good working order and audible under normal traffic conditions from a distance of not less than 100 metres.
There is no change – an effective sun visor must be fitted in a vehicle.
Television screens that are visible to the driver of a vehicle are still not permitted, except under special circumstances. View these circumstances here.
Motorcycles and mopeds must still have adequate footrests or pedals for the rider and adequate footrests for any pillion passenger.
The person or company that inspects your vehicle during a WoF or CoF inspection will inform you if your vehicle doesn’t comply. But if your vehicle is in good condition and you haven’t modified it in such a way that would affect any of this equipment, it should comply with the rule.
No. There shouldn’t be any compliance costs as most vehicles already have the required equipment and are also likely to meet the new requirements relating to fuel tanks and fuel lines.
All child restraints sold in New Zealand must meet an approved standard. All will show an ‘S’ mark (New Zealand Standard NZS 1754), or a tick mark (Australian Standard AS 1754), or an ‘E’ mark (European Standard ECE 44). Restraints that comply with the United States Standard (FMVSS 213) must, in addition to any other markings, display the New Zealand Standard ‘S’ mark to show they have been certified for use in New Zealand.
With the addition of the Japanese Technical Standard, all in-built child restraints in a car that has been certified for use on New Zealand roads will meet one of the standards.
As well as meeting an approved standard, all child restraints must be installed correctly and be in good condition.
Only Japanese child restraints that are integrated into the rear set when the car is manufactured meet the approved standard. Other Japanese child restraints are still excluded from use in New Zealand.
The issue of vehicle exhaust noise drew the most interest during consultation. Many of the submissions were from vehicle enthusiasts who put forward a range of views. The NZ Transport Agency also consulted with the exhaust system industry.
The rule carries over and clarifies existing legislation. This requires that a modified exhaust system should not be noticeably and significantly louder than the original equipment. This is a subjective test but an objective noise test for New Zealand will be developed as part of a revised Emissions Rule due to be developed in 2004/05.
Vehicles that are capable of a speed in excess of 50 km/h are required to have a speedometer, except under special circumstances. View these circumstances here.
The NZ Transport Agency consulted on whether agricultural vehicles capable of going over 30 km/h should be required to have a speed measuring device (eg a rev counter). It was decided that the current practice of only requiring a speedometer for vehicles able to go over 50 km/h should continue.
Reflective or light-emitting signs on vehicles or trailers usually carry a message, logo, advertisement or some other graphic image. While they are specifically designed to catch the public’s attention, there is concern that they could obscure regulatory lighting equipment or distract or confuse other road users. It was decided to address this issue in the development of the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Lighting currently in its final stages.
For the past 15 years trailers on logging trucks have not been legally required to have full mudguards because of the difficult roading environment that they travel in. Instead, they have been required to have partial mudguards. The rule does not change this requirement.
The Vehicle Equipment Rule will come into effect on 27 February 2005.
Offences and penalties will be included in an amended version of the Land Transport (Offences and Penalties) Regulations 1999, which will come into force when the rule takes effect.
The rule replaces some of the provisions within Part Seven of the Traffic Regulations 1976. The remaining provisions will be replaced by other rules. It also consolidates other secondary legislation and New Zealand Gazette notices into one rule.
A draft rule was released for consultation on 17 April 2003 with a deadline for submissions of 3 June 2003. Almost 3,000 submissions were received. While this was mainly due to interest in noise levels for modified exhaust systems, there was also general interest in other issues raised. The submissions were taken into account in re-drafting the rule into its final form and it was then submitted to the Ministry of Transport for scrutiny, to Government for comment and to the Minister of Transport for signing.
You can purchase Land Transport Rules from selected Bennetts, Paper Plus and Whitcoulls retailers and any other retailers that sell government legislation. You can also get a copy by contacting the printers and distributors of the rules, Wickliffe Limited, on Freephone 0800 226 440.
The full text of the rule is available on the NZ Transport Agency’s website and you can contact the NZ Transport Agency Help Desk on Freephone 0800 699 000 for more information.
Last updated: 26 November 2005