Another question about registration exemption for RFS vehicles. This question relates to heritage vehicles. RFS Heritage is a Committee that is “Preserving Yesterday’s RFS History for Tomorrow’s Generations”. My correspondent has noted that RFS Heritage has vehicles and
… they’re using them on the road (a few recent videos on a cruise with them all in convoy) to various events. They don’t display any other historical registration plates and only the “heritage” signage on the front/rear where a Brigade name would usually appear in order to enable the exemption. Thus, I’m curious as to how it could enjoy RFS registration exemption provisions as it’s not operational nor attached to a brigade.
It may be that RFS Heritage has been created as a brigade but that is only part of the issue. As noted in my earlier post (NSW RFS appliances don’t need to be registered (March 6, 2018)) to enjoy the exemption the vehicle must be attached to a brigade it must also be used for an approved purpose. Those purposes include
- being “used to convey persons or equipment to or from the work of preventing, mitigating or suppressing fires in rural fire districts (including clearing fire breaks or removing inflammable material)” (Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Regulation 2017 (NSW) Schedule 1, cl 12(b)); or
- other functions of the NSW Rural Fire Service that the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service or a fire control officer within the meaning of the Rural Fires Act 1997 may approve for the purposes of the exemption (cl 12(c)(v)).
It may be that the Commissioner has approved the use of the vehicles as protecting the heritage of the RFS is an important part of the administration of the RFS as is the value of heritage vehicles in recruiting.
If however the vehicle is not attached to a brigade and is not being used for one of the purposes listed in cl 12 then it cannot enjoy the exemption and would need to be registered or have some other exemption, if it is to be driven on the road.
Hi it’s Alan from RFS Heritage re how fleet they are under a brigade which we are the heritage fleet run a BFO plate same as rfs fleet they are pink slip every year
Just to reply Rfs Heritage vechicle are under a brigade they are BFO plate and are pink slip every year to drive on road
I enjoy reading your well researched articles.
I thought I should share with a story relating to the registration of RFS vehicles.
In the early seventies I was employed by Sutherland Shire Council in NSW. as a Deputy Fire Control Officer (DFCO). One of the first such appointments in the State. At the time the position of DFCO was not recognised in the bush fire brigades legislation. I was provided with a vehicle to go about my duties and also for private use. The vehicle was very clearly marked with signage and was “bushfire orange” in colour. It was not registered but had an identification plate with the words “Sutherland Shire Bushfire Brigades”.
One evening, when returning home from work, I worked from an office in the Council Chambers, I had a very minor accident involving a government vehicle owned by the Water Board. Because it was a government vehicle I reported same to Police. The local Police who knew me because of my position, indicated all was OK and I could not expect to hear anymore.
Two or three days later the Police contacted me and advised that the traffic sergeant had reviewed the particulars and determined that I should be charged with:
* Driving an unregistered vehicle,
* Driving an uninsured vehicle
* Negligent or careless driving, I cannot remember which!
The traffic sergeant determined that I was using the vehicle for administration purposes which was not expressly covered in the legislation. As a result ALL bush fire brigade vehicles used by Fire control Officers and their Deputies were then registered.
Eventually the charges relating to the vehicle were withdrawn, and I was “let off” with a caution for my driving error.
An interesting story for your information and use.