Protrusions on vehicles
Some vehicles are fitted with badly designed bull bars with pointed corners and sharp edges, and some are fitted with accessories which protrude beyond the bumper bar or bull bar.
Protrusions and some methods of attachment to the front of vehicles present a danger to other road users and increase the likelihood of injury or damage to a person or another vehicle making contact with the vehicle. An accessory or bull bar fitted to a vehicle must therefore be attached in a manner that does not affect the continuing compliance of the vehicle with the Australian Design Rules and Regulations.
This information covers only the roadworthiness requirements for equipment fitted to the front of vehicles. These roadworthiness requirements and the relevant construction safety standards will be reviewed after Standards Australia completes a proposed Australian Standard on bull bars.
Fitting of accessories
Of particular concern are the ways in which items protruding forward of the bumper or bull bar are fitted eg. accessory fittings attached to the exterior of a vehicle such as brackets supporting aerials and lights.
Also of concern are bull bars that have sharp edges and pointed corners or bull bars fitted with accessory attachments such as fishing rod holders, lights and mounting brackets for such fittings, and any fittings that affect the field of view of the driver.
For safety reasons it is illegal to have:
- Any attachment or protrusion projecting forward of bull bar or bumper bar which presents a danger to other road users.
- Note that any aerials or winches which cannot meet this requirement should be removed after the operational need is completed. Emergency and rescue (State Rescue Board-accredited rescue vehicles, mines rescue) vehicles may have a constant operational need for this equipment and will not be rejected. Minor protrusions forward of the bull bar or bumper bar such as a spotlight, or fairleads required for the operation of a winch, where the mounting brackets do not protrude, are permitted providing the protrusion is the minimum necessary and is blunt or protected to minimise any risk of injury to vulnerable road users.
- Any sharp or ragged edge or corner on a bull bar which could cause injury to a person coming into contact with the bull bar.
- Any bull bar or other attachment that does not allow the driver a view of the road and of the traffic to the front and side of the vehicle so that the driver can drive the vehicle safely.
Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) has issued Vehicle Inspector's Bulletin No. 5 to Inspectors and Authorised Examiners explaining the inspection requirements to them. For further information on protrusions to the front of vehicles, please contact Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) Technical Enquiries on 1300 137 302.
Raising and lowering vehicles
VSI 50 was originally written to provide guidance to vehicle owners and modifiers about how to ensure their vehicles remain safe when being raised or lowered.
It was developed by an expert working group, comprised on the (then) RTA, industry and peak user groups. Rather than introduce it as a unique NSW policy document, it was decided to refer VSI 50 to an appropriate national forum to consider adopting it nationally. This has not yeat occurred. Before any consideration is given to the introduction of VSI 50 it will be subject to further consultation through the Vehicle Standards Working Group.
Guidance on raising and lowering light vehicles is currently given in section LS in VSB 14. If VSI 50 is finalised it can also be used as guidance material.
Enquiries may be directed to 1300 137 302 or by email to Technical_Enquiries@rta.nsw.gov.au.
Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) has developed information sheets to provide vehicle owners and operators with the latest vehicle standards information in NSW.
The Technical specifications describe construction and testing requirements for aftermarket equipment, accessories and other items related to the safe construction and use of motor vehicles.
For more information see the file downloads located at the bottom of this page.