NTC proposes change to bull bar requirements

The NTC wants bull bar provision made mandatory on vehicles to increase safety

The National Transport Commission (NTC) has released for public consultation a proposal to stipulate bull bar requirements for vehicles, including small trucks.

A statement from the NTC says it is necessary to change the rule so that applies to more vehicles to ensure bull bars are "pedestrian friendly".

Under current requirements, the NTC claims the provisions are unclear because they stipulate a bull bar needs to be fitted in a way which will reduce the likelihood of an injury to a person.

Under the NTC’s proposal, bull bar manufacturers are required to replicate the design profile of the vehicle but exclude laboratory impact tests.

The NTC wants all vehicles under 3.5 tonnes to comply with the requirement. However, it proposes the measure be imposed on vehicles built after January 1, 2010.

NTC Senior Manager of Safety Dr Jeff Potter says clarifying the rule will reduce uncertainty and increase safety.

"The amended standard will ensure bull bar designs minimise frontal impact damage to the vehicle and help reduce pedestrian injuries at the same time," he says.

"Sharp edges can cause serious injuries and bull bars which raise the height of the vehicle’s front section can catch pedestrians, with horrific results."
Potter says NSW manufacturers already comply with the NTC’s proposal so it will have little impact on their business.

"Other companies would need to review their product designs before the regulation is introduced in 2010," he says.

The NTC’s amendment package also extends existing regulations for fitting alternative fuel systems to compressed natural gas.

Other proposed changes include clarifications and amendments covering windscreens, axle load-sharing, parking brake performance, LPG fuel labelling and drawbar couplings.

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