Rural Contractors New Zealand – the national association and the leading advocate for rural contractors in New Zealand – executive director Roger Parton says the new rules offer agricultural vehicle owners improved compliance and greater operational flexibility. He says Rural Contractors NZ has worked collaboratively with Ministry of Transport, NZTA and NZ Police to develop them.
“These changes are a long time coming and have resulted in rules that are easy to understand, comply with and enforce,” Roger Parton adds. “These changes recognise the unique operating characteristics and environment that agricultural vehicles require to travel on the road.”
He says the new rules will also reduce compliance costs for rural contractors and farmers.
The changes include: a two-tier system for agricultural vehicles has been established based on a 40km/h operating speed. Vehicles operating below this speed will have no compliance other than they must be roadworthy.
The changes mean that agricultural vehicles first registered from June 1 2013 must use a flashing amber beacon at all times when on-road to alert other road users to the presence of agricultural vehicles.
A new licence endorsement now allows for a greater range of agricultural vehicles to be driven by the holder of a Class 1 (car) licence once they prove they have the skills to do so. Other changes have improved and simplified the rules on pilot vehicles, work time variation schemes, hazard identification and vehicle visibility.
“Rural Contactors NZ has run a series of seminars around the country over the last month to help educate our members and the agricultural sector about the new regulations and ensure the industry is up to date with its responsibilities,” Mr Parton adds
More information on the new rules for agricultural vehicles can be found on the Rural Contractors NZ website: http://www.ruralcontractors.org.nz