A Light In The Dark

The number of tall tales you hear on the road would shame a large troop of nervous meerkats. From a friend of a friends uncle who got busted for wearing thongs (on his feet that is) to a former free mason turned police officer cruising the streets in a K200, there are more and more exaggerated stories that do the rounds every day. The latest one is drivers getting knocked off for having white marker lights on their cabs in NSW.

For once this one actually has some substance to it but alas the omission of a few facts in the original story and an over excited peanut gallery has let the facts slip off to the side quicker than an express freight carrier going past Bowning at 3am.

Here’s the original text…

“WARNING – LIGHTS OVER WINDSCREENS in NSW. We have been notified that as of Monday 2nd of Dec, any truck with white lights above windscreen on their truck will be issued with a defect notice in NSW. This advice came from the authorities and we know of one truck that has already been defected even though the truck passed roadworthy in Victoria and was supplied by the manufacture with amber and clear lights. ALL LIGHTS ABOVE WINDSCREEN ARE TO BE AMBER”

Here’s my two bobs worth on the matter…

1. Notification, in this instance, would appear to be in a verbal form at a roadside interception by either Police or the RMS and if its a direct quote the the Officer offering the information needs retraining.

2. The current regulations regarding such lights is regulated by two documents of national legislation and are not the creation of the NSW authorities alone,

(a) Heavy Vehicle (Vehicle Standards) National Regulation… https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/SLS/2013/13SL076.pdf

(b) Vehicle Standard (Australian Design Rule 13/00 – Installation of Lighting and Light Signalling Devices on other than L- Group Vehicles) 2005… http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2005L03991/e7b3d9c8-c5e0-4a8a-ae60-b8c17f2bac3f

Document (a) specifies that a heavy vehicle must comply with the relevant ADRs, including document (b), and in Part 6, Div 8, divides what are commonly called “clearance lights” into two categories; clearance lights and external cabin lights.

For a vehicle built after October 1991 (the vast majority of on highway trucks) to avoid a defect notice it must be compliant.

The long and the short of it is a prime mover must have two forward facing white lights at the front of the vehicle either above the top of the windscreen but not more than 400mm from the sides or mounted on the mirrors or their supports. Additionally such a vehicle may also have up to five external cabin lights mounted on or above the roof, at the front of the vehicle, and these must be amber.

So if you have white lights on your mirrors make sure you roof lights are amber and regardless make sure everything not on the edge is amber.

I’m no RMS inspector or legal type so make sure you read the rules for yourself. For the short version you could try RMS VSI 12.