Delay to new caravan and trailer rule set to launch today is ‘worst of both worlds’

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NFU Scotland transport specialist Jamie Smart has attacked the DVSA’s late decision to delay updates to the towing laws. The changes would have seen motorists who passed their test after 1 January 1997 allowed to tow caravans and trailers up to 3,500kg without taking an extra test.

The changes would have had a big impact on caravan owners and motorists in agriculture who regularly tow heavy trailers.

However, Mr Smart warned the delay could have serious consequences for drivers who need to tow heavier weights.

The DVSA warn car ad trailer tests “have now stopped” meaning drivers “can no longer book one”.

It means many road users are unable to get their licence upgraded to the BE category needed to tow heavier weights legally.

Mr Smart added drivers should “ensure” anyone towing has had “adequate training”.

He said: “This is the worst of both worlds, as nobody can now obtain a licence to tow with a car or pickup, and you can’t tow without one.

“Regardless of when the rule change comes into force, we continue to urge members to ensure that anybody towing has had adequate training to reduce the risk of accidents and ensure compliance with health and safety legislation around trailers.”

The changes were set to come into force today but were delayed until the Autumn.

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The DVSA said the changes would now be “subject to Parliamentary approvals” before being given the green light later this year.

Motorists can sign up for email alerts for a notification when the rule could be introduced.

However, the DVSA has also urged drivers to follow existing rules until the law changes.

Only drivers who passed before 1 January 1997 can tow heavier weights without restrictions.

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