Extendable trailer specs

Safety concerns delay changes to towing license rules

A change in the law that would allow drivers who passed their driving test after January 1, 1997 to tow a trailer weighing up to 3,500 kg without taking a separate test has been delayed.

The change was due to go into effect on Monday, November 15, but will be considered in more detail after being challenged in parliament over road safety concerns.

See also: Reminder of the highway code: Safety of the trailer, tractor speed and permits

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) confirmed in September its intention to change the law to free up more testing capacity for truck drivers.

But in a new statement, he said: “The rules for towing a trailer or caravan with a car will not change on November 15, 2021.

“The change will be introduced in the fall of 2021, subject to parliamentary approvals.”

This means that anyone who does not already hold a trailer license to tow a heavier trailer with a light vehicle (B + E) will continue to be unable to tow.

Some drivers are now left in limbo as the DVSA halted testing of B + E trailers on September 20 in anticipation of the November law change.

NFU Scotland transport specialist Jamie Smart said: “It’s the worst of both worlds because no one can now get a license to tow with a car or van, and you can’t tow without.

“Regardless of when the rule change takes effect, we continue to urge members to ensure that everyone who tows has received adequate training to reduce the risk of accidents and ensure compliance with the laws on health and safety around trailers. “

Responding to road safety concerns, the DVSA said it was working with the trailer industry to develop a voluntary training program for drivers wishing to tow any size trailer for business or leisure.

A spokesperson for the DVSA said: “Road safety continues to be of paramount importance and all motorists will always be encouraged to undergo training to tow trailers and caravans.

If caught towing without a license, drivers face nine penalty points – three for not having a license and six for not having insurance – and a fine of over £ 800.


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