Brakes on bull bar blitz

THE NSW government has announced a two-year period of exemption for motorists who have been issued with defect notices or have concerns about the legality of their bull bar.

Following a recent blitz by NSW Police in the New England and Western regions and the resulting anger from many bull bar owners, Roads Minister Duncan Gay directed the NSW Vehicle Standards Working Group to conduct a detailed examination of rules for bull bars last Friday.

On Tuesday, a Ministerial Order was issued, which allows concerned owners to drive their vehicle for the two-year period, allowing time for anyone who is unsure about their bull bar compliance to have an inspection through Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).

“In recent weeks it’s become obvious five-post bull bars get entangled in Australian Design Rules for vehicle frontal protection systems,” Minister Gay said.

The current NSW-only rules were enacted in January, 2003.

“I have genuine concerns that people have purchased bull bars in good faith and are now subject to a police compliance campaign,” Minister Gay said.

A local property owner, who didn’t wish to be named, said the situation is “disappointing” but at least the Minister has taken action.

“The whole original situation coming to light via police booking people and not an actual campaign by Roads and Maritime Services is disappointing,” she said.

“Most of the information has come from social media, with other disappointed people posting and reporting information regarding defects on five-post bull bars.

“As an owner of a five-post bull bar why should the fault be on me? I purchased the bar with our new vehicle, which was fitted and passed for rego before I had the keys.

“If the bull bars haven’t been compliant since 2003 why are they still manufactured and passed for rego?

“I’m guessing it will be expensive to fix if we have to remove it and replace with another type of bull bar.”

The concerned landholder said safety was her biggest concern when purchasing the bull bar and it has been well “worth the money”.

“My husband was heading to work early in the morning and hit a large buck kangaroo, without such a well made bull bar, our utility would have been a write-off,” she said.

“When we were looking to purchase the bar we wanted something to protect our new vehicle and us.”

Any owners who are unsure or who have already received a defect notice for a bull bar they believe should be exempt, should then have their vehicle inspected at an RMS Authorised Unregistered Vehicle Inspection Station.

The relevant agencies have been made aware of the Ministerial Order and will work to address outstanding infringement notices.

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