New laws on towing caravans / trailers are in place goes into effect next week (November 15th) This could result in thousands of inexperienced drivers towing larger vehicles – and causing an increase in road accidents, according to experts.
The government’s plans to reduce the backlog of new truckers include changes to transportation regulations that allow motorists to pull a trailer or caravan without an inspection to free up more time for inspectors to conduct truck inspections.
But Labor MP Karin Smyth (Bristol South) said there was no evidence to support these government claims.
“The key question for the government – is it worth risking lives to free up theoretical testing capacity?” She asked in the House of Commons.
“Like other members who spoke tonight, I was inundated with people, experts in the field, who told me this is not going to do what the government says and the government has provided no evidence of anything else.
“Instructors, driving test centers, the insurance industry, the road haulage association that do not support this particular part of this package.”
The MP who heads the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Trailer and Towing Safety added: “These proposals are not in an appropriate form or form. They are dangerous. It’s inconsiderate.
“Nobody thinks this is a good idea except part of the government, and there is no safety rating to base the decision on.”
Thomas Owens for We buy every motor caravan said: “In the past, drivers had to take a category B + E test as long as the caravan and towing vehicle weighed less than 3,500 kg.
“These tests have now been canceled and drivers can suddenly pull larger and heavier caravans than they are used to. And if you are not entirely sure, towing it can be a formidable experience and we might see more accidents on the road.
“With the extra weight, it has never been more important to check your tires before you ride. With all the extra weight, if you don’t have the correct tire tread depth it becomes an accident waiting to happen. Remember to give more time and space for everything, especially cornering, and if your car isn’t quite fit for the new game, try stabilizers.
“Remember, with all that extra space, it’s all too easy to get cluttered. Still, try to keep the caravan as light as possible, with the heavier items low and close to the axle. And try to keep the weight of your loaded caravan below 85% of your car’s curb weight.
“Finally, if you are really concerned, there is still a non-compulsory course to take. This should give you extra security and training if you need it. It could also make your insurance premium cheaper. “
Transport Secretary Trudy Harrison said: “We understand the concern that a full analysis has not yet been released. We are urgently working on it.
“It was about weighing the need to act quickly to address the driver shortage against the need to assimilate and fully analyze evidence.”
The minister added that she and many other drivers could already pull a trailer or caravan without additional testing after passing their test before 1997 when a change in the law introduced the requirement.
Conservative MP Richard Fuller (North East Bedfordshire) had raised concerns about the three year change to the testing regulations, calling them “trying to achieve a regulatory change …
Ms. Harrison said the changes would be reviewed “continuously at every stage.”
Opposition MPs tried to force a vote against the test rule change already approved by the government, but the vote was postponed to November 17.