When you’re towing a trailer, you need to be aware of the current laws and how to keep yourself and other road users safe. Trailers are usually extremely heavy and if you make a mistake, it could lead to a serious road accident. Below, we explore how the rules around towing trailers have changed and why you should keep up to date.
How has the law changed?
Previously, the law was different regarding towing trailers. It stated that those who passed their driving test after 1 January 1997 needed to take a test before towing a trailer or caravan. However, new rules have changed this: a person who gained their licence after 1 January 1997 will be allowed to tow trailers up to 3,500kg Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM). These rules were initially going to be implemented in November 2021 but were delayed until December.
Jonathan White, legal and compliance director from National Accident Helpline, said: “We welcome the delay in the introduction of these changes and hope that the Government makes use of the extra time to consider them in more detail, ensuring that the safety of drivers is considered as the top priority.
“The changes will see millions of drivers simultaneously given the right to tow a trailer of considerable weight, without needing any previous experience or training in driving while towing a load – all at a time of year when visibility and conditions are at their poorest, bringing an increased element of risk to drivers.”
Staying up to date with laws
The delay in the implementation of new towing laws shows why you need to stay up to date with laws. If you failed to notice the delay, then you might have started towing without the correct documentation. As such, it’s worth staying up to date with all motoring laws to ensure that you’re not making any mistakes. This could save you money too: if you took a car and trailer driving test in 2021 without realising that this wouldn’t be necessary by the end of the year, you still wouldn’t have been entitled to a refund.
Towing a trailer requires plenty of care – it’s a significant responsibility. And although the law has changed, lowering the benchmark for towing a trailer, it’s well worth remaining careful to look after yourself and other road users.
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