SAFE Towing Scheme – What You Need to Know

Caravans, TCC News, Tips & Advice, Towing

SAFE TOWING INITIATIVE:

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

WHATEVER YOU’RE TOWING, MAKE IT SAFE

Are you practising SAFE towing?

Launched earlier this month, the DVSA’s SAFE towing initiative is supported by the NCC and the Approved Workshop Scheme. Designed to raise awareness of towing safety to all drivers, the scheme aims to encourage drivers to get their trailers and caravans serviced and safety checked before they hit the road this Summer.

As the UK’s been in lockdown on and off for well over a year, we haven’t been able to travel as we usually would, so most of us haven’t towed in a long time. The ongoing travel restrictions have also seen a boom in caravan sales to first time owners, who may have never towed before. This means it’s more important than ever to ensure you tow safely and to be aware of safety checking your vehicle before every journey. As the campaign states – “whatever you’re towing, make it SAFE”.

Read on to learn more about SAFE towing.

SAFE Towing: Image of a caravan being towed by a car.

WHAT IS SAFE TOWING?

Between September 2019 and January 2021, the DVSA performed roadside checks on over 2,000 vehicles. These roadside checks indicated that:

  • 1 in 6 caravans that were stopped had a serious safety problem
  • almost 4 in 10 small trailers had a serious safety problem
  • issues with lights, illegal tyres, brake problems and breakaway cable issues were frequently identified

With these findings in mind, they are encouraging all drivers to make sure that they’re practising SAFE towing. Before you set off on a journey, make sure you perform these basic checks:

S – has it been Serviced recently? 

A – have you got enough Air in your tyres? Check the pressure, tread depth and condition.

F – have you Fitted the breakaway cable/safety chain and checked the electrical connections and cables?

E – what are your lights looking like? Have you Examined them properly? Check your load and weight limit, mirrors and jockey wheel before you travel.

Back in 2014, a preventable tragedy occurred when 3-year old Freddie Hussey was killed by a trailer that became detached. As a result, the #TowSafe4Freddie campaign was set up to remind drivers to carry out safety checks every time they tow to avoid further tragic losses.

For further details on the SAFE towing scheme, please read the blog by Mark Winn, Britain’s chief driving examiner at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

FIND OUT MORE

If you’re in any doubt about the safety of your trailer or caravan, please arrange a service. This will not only give you peace of mind but will ensure that any issues that are identified can be remedied before you travel, so you can be sure that you’re practising SAFE towing.

Our fully qualified and highly experienced engineers can carry out all aspects of caravan and trailer servicing in our 8-bay caravan service centre. You can reach us on 01752 341133 to schedule your service appointment.

You can also stay in touch with us via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the latest news and updates on reopening and our services. You can also take a look through our caravan tours, maintenance tutorials and how-to guides on YouTube, or via our Help & Advice page.

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