We bring you the latest News for campers and caravanners.
Drivers are being urged to carry out simple trailer and caravan safety checks before leaving home as the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) increases roadside stops.
As travel restrictions ease and people go on holiday in the UK, DVSA anticipates that many will be heading into the great outdoors with their caravans and trailers to enjoy the bank holiday weekend and half term.
In 2014 three-year-old Freddie Hussey was killed when a trailer became unhitched as he walked near his home in Bristol. The #towsafe4freddie campaign was set up to remind all drivers to carry out basic safety checks each time they tow. And DVSA is carrying out roadside checks to try and avoid similar tragedies.
Data from DVSA’s previous roadside checks shows caravans and trailers can experience problems with key safety features like tyres and lights:
• around 1 in 6 caravans DVSA stopped had a serious safety problem
• nearly 4 in 10 small trailers had a serious safety problem
• the main safety issues were lights, illegal tyres, breakaway cable problems and poor brakes
DVSA’s Chief Driving Examiner, Mark Winn says, “DVSA’s priority is to help you keep your caravan or trailer safe to use on Britain’s roads.
“It’s great to see caravans and trailers returning to the road but drivers who tow have a special responsibility to ensure they #towsafe4freddie.
“Many caravans and trailers have been parked up over winter, so we’re urging drivers who are new to towing or haven’t towed for a while to carry out some simple checks. Our ask is, whatever you’re towing, make it SAFE.”
As well as carrying out roadside checks DVSA is urging drivers to carry out these simple SAFE caravan and trailer checks:
• Service – get a free trailer safety check or visit your garage if needed
• Air in tyres - check pressure, tread depth, condition, and age
• Fit the breakaway cable or safety chain and check electrical connections and cables
• Examine lights, load and weight limit, mirrors and do the jockey wheel test
Drivers can check they are #towsafe4freddie at www.gov.uk/guidance/tow-a-trailer-with-a-car-safety-checks. Plus for further practical advice on how to prepare your trailer and caravan for the road, check out the Club's How to series of videos which cover topics from how to match caravan and caravan, caring for your tyres and fitting towing mirrors and breakaway cables correctly to how to check your caravan's noseweight.
DVSA’s roadside spot checks will be taking place across Britain this summer. They should take around 20 minutes each and will be checking safety features including lights, tyres, breakaway cable and brakes. If a caravan or trailer isn’t safe, the driver will be unable to continue their journey until the defect is fixed.
SUE TAYLOR | 25 May 2021