The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has published guidelines to help drivers verify that they are towing safely and legally.
The instructions contain important information for checking:
- the trailer coupling and connections
- Wheels and trials
- Lights and indicators
- Loads and weight limits
Disastrous consequences of insecure followers
The new campaign follows the tragic death of three-year-old Freddie Hussey in January 2014.
Freddie was out walking with his mother in Bedminster, Bristol, when a 2 ton trailer detached from a Land Rover. The trailer climbed over the curb before meeting Freddie.
Freddie Hussey, pictured shortly before his death in 2014. Copyright: Donna Hussey. This image can be reproduced to promote this road safety campaign.
The investigation into the death of Freddies revealed that the trailer’s handbrake lever was in the wrong place.
Freddie’s parents urge all drivers to perform basic security checks every time they pull a trailer to avoid further tragedy.
Share the guide on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag # towsafe4freddie to raise awareness.
Make sure your trailer is safe
Transportation Secretary Andrew Jones said:
I was shocked and saddened by the death of 3 year old Freddie Hussey – it is absolutely essential that the drivers perform a few quick and simple checks to ensure their trailer is safe so that we cannot repeat this terrible tragedy.
This campaign will help drivers drive safely and save lives in the process.
DVSA Managing Director Gareth Llewellyn said:
The DVSA’s top priority is to protect the public and help you stay safe on the UK’s roads.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the equipment is properly attached to your vehicle and used safely. There is no excuse for not being informed.
Even a short drive with an unsafe or unfit trailer is life-threatening, as the death of 3-year-old Freddie Hussey tragically shows.
Support from industry experts
Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said:
We welcome this important campaign and urge all trailer users to follow the DVSA’s simple steps to ensure their trailer is properly hitched so that they can tow safely and avoid further tragic and preventable accidents.
Larry Lambert, Chief Executive Administrator of the National Trailer and Towing Association (NTTA) said:
NTTA firmly believes that education is key to preventing these events from happening again and our association fully supports this campaign.
We urge all users to properly maintain their trailers and allow sufficient time before each trip to perform basic checks to ensure that their train experience is safe and legal at all times.