New Towing Laws and How They Affect You | Articles

The B + E trailer test is no longer a legal requirement, despite road safety concerns that prevented the changes in the law from going into effect on November 15, as originally planned.

From today (December 16), any driver holding a category B car license, regardless of his age or experience, can tow trailers or caravans up to 3,500 kg MAM without spending additional review. This is an increase from the 750 kg MAM trailers, which were permitted for B license holders licensed since 1997.

(MAM is the abbreviation for Maximum Allowable Mass, also known as Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) and refers to the maximum weight of a trailer and its cargo combined.)

The DVLA will automatically change the licenses to include the B + E right.

Today’s announcement came after a difficult hiatus for young drivers needing to tow as B license holders who passed their exam after 1997 had not been able to book a trailer test since September 20. , but were unable to tow Category B + E trailers.

According to the government, the removal of the trailer test will free up testing capacity, allowing 30,000 additional HGV tests per year (a 37% increase) and help alleviate the current shortage of HGVs in the UK.

UK drivers wishing to tow in the EU will still need to pass the B + E trailer test. Any driver who passed his exam before January 1, 1997 was never required to pass a B + E trailer exam before towing a trailer.

These changes affect England, Scotland and Wales. The B + E trailer test has not been abolished in Northern Ireland.

Is it dangerous to abolish the trailer test?

A public consultation on the change took place between August 10 and September 7 and resulted in 75% of the vote in favor of removing the B + E trailer test.

Following the opinion of the Secondary Legislation Review Committee that the Department of Transport failed to provide sufficient evidence of “the potential increase in towing accidents involving injury”, the House of Commons has debated the changes on November 8, where Karin Smyth MP called attention to the B + “Constant current E-trailer test failure rate of 30%.” In 2019-2020, it was 8,575 people. According to the government’s proposals, these people will go on our roads, ”she said.

The new legislation does not prevent drivers who have already failed their trailer test from now driving with a category B + E trailer.

The government advises “that it is best to take training from a driving instructor if you want to start driving a car and a trailer.” An accreditation program is under development and should be finalized in 2022.

The full regulations and guidelines are available on the government website. here.

Amanda J. Marsh