DVSA decision to scrap trailer towing tests condemned by safety charity

Governing administration moves to scrap the take a look at for towing trailers up to 3,500kgs have been condemned by protection charity IAM RoadSmart.  The timing of the announcement on 10 Sept, which comes times immediately after a session period of time closed, has also raised fears that the session process was a sham. 

Scrapping the trailer take a look at is one particular of the motives the govt has been able to announce an more 50,000 HGV lorry checks will be offered just about every 12 months, which the Driver and Automobile Criteria Agency (DVSA) states will assistance out the haulage field which is having difficulties with driver shortages. The DVSA maintains “all car motorists will however be encouraged to undertake schooling to tow trailers and caravans”, but that has not content IAM RoadSmart, which is by itself a driver schooling service provider.

“We are very let down that a session that only closed a couple of times back has led to an rapid cessation of trailer screening for car motorists.” states IAM RoadSmart Plan & Research Director Neil Greig. “It is obvious that the govt meant to do this all alongside which will make the whole session process some thing of a squander of time. Our fears remain that trailer use requires a particular set of skills that are very best instilled by a screening process. While the HGV driver shortage is clearly a massive situation for culture as a whole, the government’s hasty tactic is putting not only road protection but the whole session process at hazard.”

Throughout the session period of time, IAM RoadSmart raised fears that the conclusion would exacerbate an present protection predicament, expressing that the DVSA’s possess roadside protection checks confirmed that up to 1 in 6 caravans that were being stopped experienced a critical protection situation. Additionally, up four in 10 compact trailers were being also located with critical protection troubles by the DVSA’s possess checks.

“The DSA experienced a obvious protection cause for introducing the take a look at in 1997, and these motives are however legitimate,” states Grieg. “People will need right schooling to be able to drive an articulated auto, especially when they are undertaking so for the initial time.”

Education for the quickly-to-be-scrapped trailer take a look at was meant to ensure motorists have the understanding and self-assurance to deal with troubles these types of as snaking – a lateral swaying motion of the trailer – or pitching, which is when the caravan’s front conclusion moves up and down, pulling the rear of the car all-around like a seesaw. 

IAM RoadSmart is specifically anxious about the expanding level of popularity of caravanning, spurred on by the development to staycations through the Covid pandemic, as investigation suggests that several using component in the caravanning increase have not any prior towing experience.

What is the legislation on towing

As the legislation stands, only motorists who handed their take a look at before 1997 are authorized to tow trailers up to the 3,500kgs restrict, underneath the so-known as ‘grandfather rights’. If you handed the take a look at immediately after 1997, you’re only authorized to tow up to 750kgs except you just take the trailer take a look at to insert B and E classes to your licence.
When the legislation changes this autumn (the day is however to be verified), all driver records will be quickly updated to involve the B /E classes, but licences on their own will only be updated when new photocards are purchased.

All trailer checks from next 20 September are getting cancelled quickly, but there are no refunds or payment for anyone who has not long ago compensated for schooling or a take a look at. It’s also truly worth noting that the present-day guidelines however use until finally the rule transform comes into power in the autumn, so towing an chubby trailer however threats a hefty fantastic.

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