The Sun-Herald – Sunday 6 February 2005

'Monstrous' bullbars on final notice

Police will launch a bullbar education program this week in advance of the introduction of new penalties on March 1.


All stakeholders are finalising a safety code that will clarify which bullbars are acceptable and legal and which are not.


At Wednesday's education launch, police will show the motoring public unacceptable bullbars - those with sharp protrusions, fishing rod holders, extra driving light brackets and fittings that obscure registration plates.


Traffic Services Commander Chief Superintendent John Hartley yesterday urged motorists to have correctly fitted bullbars and attachments to avoid being fined.


From the beginning of next month, drivers will face fines of $104 for bullbars not complying with requirements and will be issued with defect notices.


Chief Superintendent Hartley said that under the Australian Road Rules any attachment or protrusion in front of a bullbar or bumper bar presented a danger to other road users.


Examples include fishing rod holders and mounting brackets for such things as aerials or driving lights.


Any sharp, ragged edge or corner on a bullbar that could cause injury to a person coming into contact with the bullbar, such as a damaged or snapped section of the bullbar, is also an offence, Chief Superintendent Hartley said.


Motorists who place lights on top of bullbars, above the level of the bonnet, obscuring the drivers' vision of the road in front or to the side of them, are committing an offence.


Harold Scruby, chief executive of the Pedestrian Council of Australia and a vocal critic of bullbars on city-based vehicles, welcomed the police action, saying: "Protruding and monstrous bullbars have no place on our roads."


Mr Scruby said some bullbars were so "macho" they reflected a "Mad Max, mine's-bigger-than-yours" cult.


"They are sharp, they protrude and they do not fit within the profile of the vehicle," he said. "Clearly, they are extremely lethal as they are designed to force animals and human beings under the vehicle, not over the bonnet."


Chief Superintendent Hartley urged bullbar users to clarify their legal position by contacting the Roads and Traffic Authority's technical inquiries.


Phone 1300 137 302 or see and click on registration, then vehicle standards.




It will be illegal to have:


  • Any attachment or protrusion projecting forward of a bullbar or bumper bar that presents a danger to other road users 
  • Any sharp, ragged edge or corner on a bullbar that could cause injury to a person coming into contact with it. 
  • Any bullbar or other attachment that does not allow the driver a view of the road and of the traffic to the front and side.

 Examples provided by PCA:

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