NSW Nationals Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall has welcomed clearer guidelines around bull bars.

A push to clarify the rules began in 2014 following a strict compliance campaign targeting owners of vehicles fitted with five-post bull bars. The confusion highlighted the difficulties encountered in the interpretation of the Australian Design Rules relating to bull bar construction.

A temporary Ministerial Order was put in place in late 2014 to protect motorists with non-compliant bull bars from being fined and prosecuted while the NSW Vehicle Standards Working Group finalised their report.

“That order was finally made permanent on September 16 this year, delivering a great outcome for country people and a huge victory for common sense,” Mr Marshall said.

“Bull bars, especially strong five-post bars, are essential for many people living in rural areas, protecting vehicles and, more importantly, protecting people’s lives on our country roads with huge numbers of kangaroos and other animals around.”

The permanent exemption will allow the continuation of a ‘degree of tolerance’ from the Australian Design Rules for vehicle frontal protection systems, which were enacted by regulation on January 1, 2003.

The technical specifications will also ensure vehicles meet applicable standards affected by the bull bar, such as ground clearance, width, obscured lights and number plates, and the driver’s view of the road.