OWNERS of non-compliant bullbars have been given a reprieve for another year as the exemption order is extended until September next year.
The order was established by Roads Minister Duncan Gay in 2014 to allow tolerance for people who had purchased non-compliant bullbars, but the need for more consultation with industry and manufacturers has led to the moratorium being extended by another year.
The two-year grace period followed a campaign by The Land after a police crackdown on non-compliant bullbars in regional areas of NSW. At the time Mr Gay said the NSW Vehicle Standards Working Group would conduct a detailed examination of rules for bullbars and carry out crash tests to investigate the risks of non-compliant bullbars. Crash testing on sedans and four-wheel drives fitted with two types of bullbars was completed in September last year.
In a statement to The Land this week, the department said the NSW Centre for Road Safety was consulting with industry, manufacturers and enforcement agencies before any changes to the guidelines were made.
The extension is a decision welcomed by Queensland-based Tuff Bullbars, one of the companies effected by the crackdown as customers were handed defect notices by police. Half of all respondents to a survey commissioned by the business last year believed they had been, or would be, saved from injury or death because they had a bullbar.
Tuff has pushed for a commonsense approach on bullbars, saying they were a necessity on country roads.
“This is part of a move to focus on what tolerances are permitted, rather than the term compliance, which can be subjective without clear underlying measurements,” said Tuff Group general manager Mark Casey.
“This approach could be useful for the public, manufacturers and enforcement agencies. The reality is that as long as we have kangaroos there will be heavy duty Tuff bullbars.”