Associate Transport Minister Michael Woodhouse announced(external link) that he has signed changes to the Land Transport (Driver Licensing) Rule 1999 and seven other Land Transport Rules relating to the on-road operation of agricultural vehicles.
A two-tier system for agricultural vehicles will be established, based on a 40km/h operating speed. Agricultural vehicles not exceeding 40 km/h will be exempt from warrant of fitness requirements, but still need to be maintained in a roadworthy condition. These vehicles can be driven by holders of a restricted car licence, and are exempt from work time requirements.
Agricultural vehicles that exceed 40 km/h will need to obtain an annual warrant of fitness, and would need to be driven by the holder of an agricultural endorsement or Class 2 licence.
“A new licence endorsement will also allow 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,” said Mr Woodhouse.
“Safety remains a high priority and changes require that agricultural vehicles registered from when the law takes effect to use a flashing amber beacon when used on-road to alert other road users to the presence of agricultural vehicles.
“Other changes improve and simplify the rules on pilot vehicles, work time variation schemes, hazard identification and vehicle visibility,” Mr Woodhouse said.
The Ministry of Transport estimates that changes will result in a net benefit of $51 million over 25 years. Changes will come into effect on 1 June 2013 (except for a change to the warrant of fitness inspection frequency, which takes effect on 11 November 2013).
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