Delayed trailer test law changes come into force

A modify in the legislation making it possible for any one who handed their driving take a look at right after 1997 to tow a large trailer weighing up to three,500kg has come into drive.

Earlier, if you handed your driving take a look at right after 1997 and wished to tow, you had been constrained to trailers with a maximum excess weight of 750kg. Following the legislation modify, the limit has risen to three,500kg. The further towing take a look at that was previously demanded experienced by now been scrapped in anticipation of heavier trailer towing groups currently being quickly additional to all licences when the legislation was handed.

The Authorities initial gave observe in September 2021 that it would scrap the further take a look at for towing trailers up to three,500kg, a transfer that was condemned at the time by safety charity IAM RoadSmart. 

On the other hand, scrapping the trailer take a look at is 1 of the good reasons the Authorities has been able to announce an more 50,000 HGV lorry checks just about every year, which the Driver and Auto Criteria Company (DVSA) says will aid out a haulage market having difficulties with driver shortages. The DVSA maintains “all automobile drivers will nonetheless be inspired to undertake teaching to tow trailers and caravans”, but that has not satisfied IAM RoadSmart, which is alone a driver-teaching company.

Throughout the consultation interval, IAM RoadSmart lifted concerns that the final decision would exacerbate an current safety situation, expressing that the DVSA’s own roadside safety checks showed that up to 1 in six caravans that had been stopped experienced a major safety challenge. On top of that, up 4 in ten compact trailers had been also found with major safety issues by the DVSA’s own checks.

“The DSA experienced a distinct safety reason for introducing the take a look at in 1997, and these good reasons are nonetheless valid,” says Grieg. “People need suitable teaching to be able to travel an articulated auto, significantly when they are undertaking so for the initial time.”

Teaching for the soon-to-be-scrapped trailer take a look at was supposed to make sure drivers have the awareness and self-confidence to offer with issues these kinds of as snaking – a lateral swaying movement of the trailer – or pitching, which is when the caravan’s entrance conclusion moves up and down, pulling the rear of the automobile all over like a seesaw. 

IAM RoadSmart is specially concerned about the growing attractiveness of caravanning, spurred on by the trend towards staycations in the course of the Covid pandemic, as investigation suggests that lots of having aspect in the caravanning increase haven’t any prior towing practical experience.

What is the legislation on towing?

As the legislation stands, only drivers who handed their take a look at just before 1997 are permitted to tow trailers up to the three,500kgs limit, underneath the so-named ‘grandfather rights’. If you handed the take a look at right after 1997, you’re only permitted to tow up to 750kgs until you get the trailer take a look at to include B and E groups to your licence.
When the legislation changes this autumn (the date is nonetheless to be verified), all driver information will be quickly updated to involve the B /E groups, but licences themselves will only be updated when new photocards are ordered.

All trailer checks from following 20 September are currently being cancelled quickly, but there are no refunds or payment for any one who has not long ago compensated for teaching or a take a look at. It is also worthy of noting that the present-day laws nonetheless utilize until the rule modify will come into drive in the autumn, so towing an chubby trailer nonetheless hazards a hefty high-quality.

Do you consider scrapping the trailer towing take a look at is a good plan? Allow us know in the feedback beneath…