New DVSA caravan driving law proposals may lead to 'serious safety concerns'



    The DVSA has opened a consultation to update the regulations which would scrap extra tests for drivers who want to tow heavy trailers or caravans. The consultation is set to run until September 7 with any rules changes expected to come into effect shortly afterwards.

    Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart said the reasons for introducing the test “still stand”.

    He warns “people need proper training” and said safety issues “could be avoided” with better training.

    He said: “If a test is no longer a requirement, this raises some serious safety concerns, especially at this busy holiday time.

    “We are very concerned the decision will exacerbate an existing safety situation.

    READ MORE: Caravan speed rules drivers must know

    Currently, drivers who passed their driving test after 1 January 1997 can only drive a vehicle up to 3,500kg maximum authorised mass (MAM) towing a trailer of 750kg MAM.

    More experienced motorists who learned how to drive before 1 January 1997 are granted extra rights and can tow up to 8,250kg MAM.

    However, the updates could allow drivers to tow heavier weights without first learning how to handle it in a road environment.

    IAM RoadSmart says the tests are designed to help holidaymakers deal with some of the issues they will encounter while towing.

    Some 30,000 people to a trailer test in 2018 compared to just 20,000 between 2014 and 2015.

    The DVSA said the proposal would also allow drivers to take one test to drive both a rigid and an articulated lorry.

    Under current rules, driers must pass in a rigid lorry first and then in an articulated lorry in separate exams.


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