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Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Equipment 2004

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.

Rule versions

  • The ‘Current rule’ will give you the most up-to-date version of the Rule and any amendments made to it. We recommend this as your reference point if you want to read the most current information.
  • The ‘Original rule and amendments’ will give you the very first version of the rule (as it was when it was first created) as well as links to all amendments made to it over time. We recommend this page as your reference page if you want to research the history of the rule.

Note: Both of these pages will also provide links to the consultation material – such as summary of submissions and FAQs (questions and answers) – for each version and amendment.

Questions and answers

Questions and answers are provided to accompany a new rule or amendment when they are signed. These and other consultation documents on this page have not been updated to take into account any later rule amendments and are retained for historic interest only.

Land Transport Rules – questions & answers

Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Equipment (Rule 32017)

Why are you making this rule?

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.

What items of equipment does the rule cover?

Most of the requirements in the rule bring together or clarify existing vehicle equipment law. Equipment covered includes:

  • audible warning devices i.e. horns and sirens
  • speedometers
  • sun visors
  • mudguards
  • exhaust systems
  • foot rests on motorbikes and mopeds
  • televisions in motor vehicles
  • fuel tanks and fuel lines
  • child restraints

What are the new requirements in the rule?

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.

What are the benefits of the rule?

While safety requirements for vehicle equipment are already in place, the rule makes the requirements clearer for vehicle owners and inspecting organisations.

Who will the rule affect?

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.

Who will check to make sure that vehicles comply with the rule?

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.

What happens with audible warning devices?

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.

What are the requirements for sun visors?

There is no change – an effective sun visor must be fitted in a vehicle.

What will happen with televisions in motor vehicles?

Television screens that are visible to the driver of a vehicle are still not permitted, except under special circumstances. View these circumstances here.

What will happen with footrests on motorcycles and mopeds?

Motorcycles and mopeds must still have adequate footrests or pedals for the rider and adequate footrests for any pillion passenger.

How will I know if my vehicle does or doesn’t comply?

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.

Will there be any costs for anyone in complying 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.

How will I know if a child restraint meets an approved standard?

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.

What about Japanese child restraints that are not built into the vehicle?

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.

What was the result of consultation on exhaust noise?

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.

What does the rule say about exemptions from speedometers in vehicles?

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.

What does the rule say about speed measuring devices for agricultural vehicles?

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.

What decisions were made about illuminated signs mounted on vehicles?

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.

Should logging trailers have mudguards?

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.

When will the rule take effect?

The Vehicle Equipment Rule will come into effect on 27 February 2005.

What happens if people don’t comply with this rule?

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.

What current law does this rule replace?

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.

What consultation has there been on this 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.

Where can I get a copy of the rule?

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.

Final rules are available on our website.

How can I get more information about the rule?

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