The changes in this rule result largely from addressing concerns with the new driver licensing regime and the Land Transport Safety Authority's (LTSA) experience in implementing the new system. Following the commencement of the Land Transport (Driver Licensing) Rule 1999, concerns were raised by the land transport industry about the cost of the new Passenger (P) endorsement for bus drivers, in particular, the cost to those in rural areas, who do not always drive on a full-time basis. As a result, the costs imposed by the new driver licensing system on the drivers of all small passenger service vehicles and other endorsement holders were reviewed, including multiple endorsement holders. The resulting changes in the rule and associated regulations reflect the Government's concern that no group of commercial drivers should be disadvantaged in complying with the requirements of the new system.
As a result of experience in operating the new driver licensing system and working with industry groups on transitional issues such as those relating to commercial drivers, the LTSA also identified further improvements to the transitional provisions that would allow the Director to recognise previous qualifications and experience.
Consultation on the rule began formally on 6 July 1999 when the LTSA released the public consultation (yellow) draft of the rule and sent a copy to around 500 groups and individuals. The draft rule was also made available on the LTSA's website on the Internet and was sent to libraries and transport organisations overseas. The LTSA publicised the availability of the rule in 15 metropolitan and regional newspapers, the Gazette, and Te Maori News. Meetings were held with interested groups to discuss the proposals as well as additional issues raised throughout the consultation process. The LTSA received 58 written submissions as a result of public consultation on the draft rule.