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Change to allow drivers to tow heavier caravans and trailers. DELAYED

The changes to the towing rules that will be introduced today have been delayed to final time, following an announcement from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.

As of November 15, all drivers who passed the test after 1997 were allowed to use a car to pull heavier caravans or trailers weighing up to 3,500 kg without the need to pass any additional tests.

However, on Friday, the government agency confirmed that the rule change was delayed until ‘fall 2021’ and is now subject to parliamentary approvals.

The government announced the rule change earlier this year in a desperate attempt to increase the availability of an additional 50,000 heavy vehicle tests each year to address the driver shortage.

License to tow: The rule change to be introduced from November 15 to allow drivers to pull heavier trailers and caravans without passing an additional test has been delayed.

License to tow: The rule change to be introduced from November 15 to allow drivers to pull heavier trailers and caravans without passing an additional test has been delayed.

The decision could leave some drivers in limbo of legality.

Anyone who has bought a caravan weighing more than 750kg with the intention of towing it as of today without having already passed a required test will now have to wait until the rules have been passed in parliament later this year.

The DVSA website says that drivers who do not follow towing rules can be punished with a variety of penalties, from a £ 1,000 fine to six penalty points and even driving bans.

Currently, any motorist who obtained their license between January 1, 1997 and January 18, 2013 can tow a trailer of up to 750 kg if their car or truck weighs less than 3.5 tons, which is generally the majority of the passenger vehicles, or more than 750 kg as long as the trailer weighs less than the unladen weight of the vehicle (up to 3,500 kg in total).

For people who were licensed after January 18, 2013, the same rules apply, although they can transport a trailer over 750 kg as long as the combined weight of the trailer and the vehicle does not exceed 3, 5 tons.

For those with pre-1997 licenses, they can generally drive a vehicle and trailer with a combined weight of up to 8,250 kg.

Road safety groups had already condemned the decision to change the rules, saying it raised “serious safety problems”, especially in the summer vacation period when caravans hit the road in droves.

The government notified in September that it intended to make changes to the towing laws, ending the car and trailer test, or ‘B + E test’, starting that month.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency was established to update all license records, with the ‘BE’ category to be added when motorists renew their photo cards, which must be done every 10 years.

By eliminating the need for a towing test, an additional 50,000 heavy vehicle tests will be made available each year as MPs attempt to increase the number of qualified drivers to transport products across the country.

The 'BE' category will be added to all drivers licenses that passed after 1997 when they renew their photo card, which must be done every 10 years.

The 'BE' category will be added to all drivers licenses that passed after 1997 when they renew their photo card, which must be done every 10 years.

The ‘BE’ category will be added to all drivers licenses that passed after 1997 when they renew their photo card, which must be done every 10 years.

While the DVSA says that “ all car drivers will be encouraged to receive training to tow trailers and caravans, ” traffic safety groups have criticized the decision to rule out additional assessments for those who want to tow heavier trailers.

On Friday, just days before the rule change took effect, the government agency tweeted: “ The rules on towing a trailer or caravan with a car will not change on Monday (November 15, 2021).

“The change will be introduced in autumn 2021, subject to parliamentary approvals.”

Since winter officially begins on December 21, there is only a five-week window for rule changes to be approved.

He added that he will confirm a new date for the rule change “as soon as we can” and told drivers to “continue to follow the current rules until the law changes.”

It adds on its website: “The change will be made at a later date and as soon as possible.”

Motorists can sign up for an email alert system which will notify you when the judgment will go into effect.

Drivers are currently restricted to towing trailers with a maximum weight of just 750kg.  MPs have conducted a towing test to open the door to 50,000 new heavy vehicle tests following a shortage of truck drivers.

Drivers are currently restricted to towing trailers with a maximum weight of just 750kg.  MPs have conducted a towing test to open the door to 50,000 new heavy vehicle tests following a shortage of truck drivers.

Drivers are currently restricted to towing trailers with a maximum weight of just 750kg. MPs have conducted a towing test to open the door to 50,000 new heavy vehicle tests following a shortage of truck drivers.

Road safety charity and driver training provider IAM RoadSmart has been very critical of the decision to allow drivers to tow heavier trailers without having to pass additional tests.

He noted that DVSA’s own road safety checks conducted over the past two years found that 17 percent of all caravans are unsafe.

About one in six caravans stopped at the roadside between September 2019 and January 2021 were found to have a defect with key safety features, such as illegal tires, faulty lights, problems with break cables and faulty the breaks.

The checks, which reviewed a total of 2,282 caravans and trailers, also identified that nearly two out of every five small trailers had dangerous problems.

IAM RoadSmart said the timing for a rule change couldn’t be worse, given the high demand for RV vacations since the pandemic disrupted overseas vacations.

Even before Covid-19, the charity notes that 30,000 people tested the trailer in 2018, up from 20,000 in 2014/2015.

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart said: ‘The DSA [Driving Standards Agency as it was known then] had a clear security reason for introducing the test in 1997, and these reasons still apply.

“People need proper training to be able to drive an articulated vehicle, especially when they do it for the first time.”

The charity adds that the trailer and caravan tests were “ designed to help tourists with some of the problems they may encounter while towing, ” including dealing with a lateral swaying motion of a trailer, in reference. to when it snakes and leans from side to side. .

“If drivers are no longer trained to handle these situations and the popularity of national holidays continues, the decision to scrap the test is likely to come under greater scrutiny,” he warned.

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