Road Safety (Vehicles) Regulations 2021

Learn more about the changes to the Road Safety (Vehicles) Regulations.

The Road Safety (Vehicle) Interim Regulations 2020 have expired and a new set of regulations commenced on 30 September 2021. The new regulations are the Road Safety (Vehicles) Regulations 2021.

These regulations are in place for a period of 10 years. They are largely the same as the existing vehicle regulations, but important changes are highlighted here. These reforms are the result of a public consultation process. You can learn more about the consultation process, including accessing the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) supporting the changes, by going to Engage Victoria (External link).

The following is an overview of the changes that commenced on 30 September 2021.

Logbook offences

Club Permit holders must ensure that:

  • a Club Permit is affixed inside a club logbook
  • on each day a vehicle operated under the Club Permit is driven outside the vehicle's local zone, you must ensure that the next available entry in the club logbook is completed before beginning the journey
  • if a journey begins before midnight and continues into the next day, an entry must be made in the club logbook in respect of each of those days
  • you must not complete or partially complete entries in a club logbook which relate to a future day
  • you must ensure that, if a club permit is a 45-day Club Permit, only the first 45 entries in the club logbook are used, unless a second 45-day club permit is issued for the Club Permit period and affixed inside the club logbook
  • you must ensure that, if all available entries in a club logbook have been completed, or the Club Permit has expired or been cancelled, the vehicle must not be driven outside the vehicle's local zone until a new Club Permit is issued.

Club Permit holders must not cause or permit a driver of a vehicle operated under the Club Permit to fail to comply with these obligations.

Penalties apply for logbook offences.

It is now an offence to use a Club Permit vehicle as a commercial passenger service

There are now financial penalties to operate a Club Permit vehicle for hire or reward for the carriage of goods or freight, or to provide a commercial passenger vehicle service as defined by the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Act 2017.

Operating conditions 

In addition to the general conditions, VicRoads may impose an operating condition on a Club Permit that specifies the permissible use of the vehicle operating under that Club Permit.

VicRoads may suspend a Club Permit if it is reasonably suspected that the Club Permit holder has failed to comply with any operating condition of the Club Permit specified in the certificate of approved operations. Internal review rights apply. 

Cancellation of a Club Permit

VicRoads may cancel a Club Permit if the payment of a relevant fee and the appropriate transport accident charge is dishonoured or not paid within 3 months after the date of expiry of the Club Permit.

Surrender of a Club Permit

A Club Permit holder may surrender a Club Permit. When doing so, you must ensure that at the time the Club Permit is surrendered, the Club Permit, the Club Permit label and the vehicle's club logbook are removed from the vehicle and destroyed. If VicRoads requires it, you must return the Club Permit number plates to VicRoads. Penalties apply.

Definition of a replica vehicle

The Regulations now define a replica vehicle. ‘Replica’ means a light motor vehicle that is an individually constructed vehicle that resembles, as close as practicable, the appearance and dimensions of the production vehicle on which its design is based. To be eligible for the Club Permit Scheme, replica vehicles must have the appearance and dimensions of a vehicle manufactured more than 25 years ago.

For a replica vehicle to be eligible for inclusion in the Club Permit Scheme, it must meet this definition, and a VASS approval certificate must be provided with the Club Permit application. Individually constructed vehicles and production vehicles are defined in the Vehicle Standards Bulletin (VSB) 14.

Charitable, benevolent or religious institution

A benevolent organisation means a charitable, benevolent or religious institution of which the principal purpose is to provide assistance to the community or animals but does not include an organisation that operates for profit.

Affixing a substance on a number plate

The registered operator of a vehicle must ensure that no substance or object is applied or fixed to a number plate if the substance or object would prevent the production of a clear photograph of the number plate by a photographic or electronic detection device.

Reason to refuse a custom plate

VicRoads may refuse to sell registration number rights in respect of a particular registration number if that number may give a misleading impression that a vehicle on which the registration number is displayed is operated by a department or agency of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory.

Transfer of registration in cases of fraud

VicRoads may cancel a transfer of registration of a registered vehicle if satisfied on reasonable grounds that the transfer is fraudulent.

 

Action on expiry, surrender, suspension or cancellation of a licence

The person who has had their licence expired, surrendered, suspended or cancelled must cease all examinations, tests and issuing of test reports and certificates, from the date of expiry, surrender, suspension or cancellation. Penalties apply. The changes also clarify that if a licence expires, the Licensed Tester has 14 days to renew and cannot test in that 14-day period.

Qualification of person testing

A person must not examine and test a vehicle for the purposes of the Regulations unless the person is a licensed tester or an examining mechanic under the tester's licence.

Power to impound a certificate of roadworthiness

In the event that an authorised person or a police officer who impounds a certificate of roadworthiness requests that the vehicle be presented to a Licensed Tester, it cannot be the Licensed Tester who issued the impounded certificate of roadworthiness or (if the impounded certificate of roadworthiness was issued by an examining mechanic) the Licensed Tester who employed, engaged or authorised that examining mechanic.

Duration of a licence

The 12-month duration of a Licensed Tester’s licence also applies to renewed licences.

Hail-only damage

Light motor vehicles that have sustained cosmetic damage only due to the direct impact of hail stones will no longer be registered on the Written-Off Vehicle Register (WOVR). Vehicles with hail-only damage do not need to be repaired and a VIV certificate is not required (as long as the damage is only cosmetic).

If a vehicle has hail damage and another type of damage (e.g., water or accident damage), the vehicle will be added to the WOVR.

Authorised vehicle inspector

Expanding provisions in relation to the use of authorised vehicle inspectors, inspection and approved forms including new definitions and provisions to allow for the future use of e-Certificates, including eAFSAC, eVASS, eDNCC, eVIV, eVIC and eRWC.

Authorised vehicle inspector replaces existing terminology for VicRoads partners – such as VASS signatory, AFSAC provider or VIV inspector – however existing terminology may continue to be used for commercial purposes.

Light agricultural vehicles

Requirements for light agricultural vehicles, including height, length and rear overhang limits, pilot requirements and specific conditions allowed in each zone or area of operation, are now aligned with heavy vehicle requirements in the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

Exemptions for sport device trailers

Exemptions for gliders and trailable yachts related to dimensions, conditions and rear overhang that were previously located in a Government Gazette are now captured in Schedule 6 of the Regulations.

Inspecting vehicle identifiers of engine identification number

In addition to a vehicle identifier, a person must not alter, deface, remove, substitute or tamper with an engine identification number of a vehicle other than with the VicRoads’ written permission. Penalties apply.

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