Following the tragic death of three year-old Freddie Hussey, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is launching a new campaign highlighting the importance of trailer safety.
Freddie was killed in 2014 when a two-tonne trailer uncoupled from a Land Rover and careered on to the pavement.
The DVSA has produced a quick and simple online guide accompanied with short video to help people check if their trailer is safe and is targeting it at anyone towing small trailers, caravans, horseboxes and boats.
Transport Minister, Andrew Jones, said:
“I was shocked and saddened by the death of three year-old Freddie Hussey – it is absolutely essential that drivers carry out a few quick and simple checks to make sure their trailer is safe, so we do not see a repeat of this awful tragedy. This campaign will help drivers to make sure they are towing safely and will save lives in the process.”
DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said:
“DVSA first priority is to protect the public and help you stay safe on Britain’s roads.
“It’s your responsibility to ensure equipment is fitted to your vehicle correctly and used safely. There is no excuse for not being informed.
“Even a short journey with an insecure or unroadworthy trailer puts lives at risk, as the death of three-year-old Freddie Hussey tragically shows.”
To make sure you are using a trailer safely you need to:
make sure the brakes are working correctly
check that the lights are undamaged and working correctly
check that the coupling height is correct
use a breakaway cable or secondary coupling
The campaign is also supported by representatives from National Trailer and Towing Association (NTTA) and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
NTTA Chief Executive Administrator, Larry Lambert, said:
“NTTA firmly believes that education is the key to stopping these events from happening again and our association fully supports this campaign.
“We urge all users to keep their trailers properly maintained and to allow sufficient time before each journey to carry out essential checks that will ensure that their towing experience is safe and legal at all times.”
SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, said:
“We welcome this important campaign, and urge all trailer users to follow the DVSA’s simple steps to ensure their trailer is properly coupled so they can tow safely and avoid further tragic and preventable accidents.”
Please use these links for digital channels
For information about the rules on towing a trailer, go to www.gov.uk/towing
For information about safety checks you should carry out, go to www.gov.uk/guidance/tow-a-trailer-with-a-car-safety-checks
A short video about these checks is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OxXLZiPsoE