Bull bars - frontal protection system

On vehicles manufactured on or after 1 July 2013 with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) less than 3.5 tonnes bull bars must conform to the shape of the vehicle.

Over time, this will eliminate aggressive upright or forward-facing bull bars being fitted in South Australia.


All bull bars fitted to vehicles manufactured on or after 1 July 2013 with a GVM of not more than 3.5 tonnes, must comply with the design and installation requirements of Australian Standard AS4876.1-2002 'Motor Vehicle Frontal Protection Systems Part 1- Road User Protection' (except clause 3.2).

This is consistent with the Road Traffic (Light Vehicle Standards) Rules 2018 made under the Road Traffic Act 1961.

In summary

  • The profile of the bull bar should follow that of the vehicle in plan, side and front view, and not extend excessively beyond the side profile of the vehicle.
  • The bull bar must be designed and fitted so that the safety of the vehicle is not adversely affected.
  • It must be firmly and securely mounted and supported, and must not constitute a danger to other road users.
  • The bull bar and any fittings, hooks or attachments must not have any sharp edges, corners or protrusions. All exposed sections of the bull bar and fittings must be radiused and deburred.
  • The bull bar, together with its mountings and any winch or other equipment and fittings, must be taken into account for vehicle dimensions and shall not increase the overall width of the vehicle.

Airbag and additional fittings requirements

Vehicles fitted with an airbag or manufactured to comply with Australian Design Rules (ADR) 69 or ADR 73 on Occupant Protection, can only be fitted with a bull bar that has been certified by the vehicle manufacturer as suitable for that vehicle, or has been demonstrated by the bull bar manufacturer to not adversely affect the vehicle's compliance with ADR 69 or ADR 73 or interfere with any critical airbag timing mechanism.

Additional fittings such as driving lamp brackets, fishing rod holders or aerial mounting brackets must not protrude above the top or forward of the bull bar.

Failure to comply

Bull bars that do not meet Australian Standard AS 4876.1 - 2002 (clauses 1, 2, 3.1 excluding clause 3.2) that are fitted to vehicles manufactured on or after 1 July 2013 with a GVM of not more than 3.5 tonnes may breach a vehicle standards requirement and contravene sections 117 and 118 of the Road Traffic Act 1961.

The vehicle's driver or operator may be summonsed to Court and face penalties or be issued with an expiation fee.

Defect notices for deficiencies caused by a breach of a vehicle standards requirement may be issued for such vehicles under section 145 of the Road Traffic Act 1961.

Contact DIT Vehicle Standards

Related Information


Vehicle Standards Fact Sheet - Bull Bars (Frontal Protection System) MR 1505

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Page last updated 17 December 2021

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