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  # 156
In Tow! Are You Safe & Legal?
RAC urges everyone to brush- up on latest requirements
 



 

TOWING A CARAVAN OR BOAT? MAKE SURE YOU ARE SAFE AND LEGAL URGES THE RAC

As thousands of visitors head for the National Boat, Caravan and Outdoor
Show this week, motoring organisation RAC is advising buyers of boats or
caravans to brush up on their towing techniques and their legal
responsibilities before setting out on the road. In most cases drivers who
passed their test after 31 December 1996 will be inadvertently breaking the
law if the combined weight of their vehicle and trailer/caravan exceeds 3.5
tonnes and, in the event of an accident, the trailer/caravan my not be
covered under the vehicle's insurance.

"Even when the law is being fully complied with, it is important to note
that towing can cause wear and tear on the vehicle and can alter the way it
handles. Drivers may find themselves towing beyond their own capability and
that of their vehicle," said RAC technical liaison manager John Clayton.

To ensure their own and other road users' safety the RAC is urging drivers to
consider the following:

- If you passed your test after 31 December 1996, ensure you take the
special test required

- Never overload your trailer

- Load your trailer correctly

- Ensure the load is secure and can't move, check after first couple of miles

- Carry a suitable spare wheel

- Remember the lower speed limits

- Don't use the outside lane on a three-lane
motorway

These are just a few of the key 21 points to consider when hitching up and towing.

For the full detailed advice from the RAC, visit www.rac.co.uk and view 'Towing Tips'

Feb 2004