Is it illegal to ride in a caravan that is being towed?

NEW caravan laws set to come into effect this autumn have been pushed back by the DVSA.

The new rules will see changes to towing weights for caravans.

Is it illegal to ride in a caravan that is being towed?

Any sort of weight imbalance could lead to a crash – as it is vital that weight is equally distributed when a caravan is on the move.

Safeguard UK says riding in a caravan while it is being towed is "an extremely reckless thing to do".

The website explains: "This is illegal and is an extremely reckless thing to do, as it could endanger your life and the lives of your passengers and other road users.

"It’s so vital to ensure that your caravan is stable at all times when it’s being towed. Any unexpected shift in weight could potentially cause a lethal accident."

And according to SAGA, "a caravan is a relatively flimsy shell," meaning in the event of an accident anyone travelling inside the caravan would be completely unprotected.

What is the penalty for breaking towing laws?

The penalty for breaking towing laws – which is using a vehicle in a dangerous condition – could be a hefty fine and even points on your licence or a driving ban.

You can be fined up to £2,500, get three three points on your licence and even face a driving ban.

What are the new laws and when do they come into affect?

New changes to vehicle towing weights had been due to come into effect on Monday, November 15 – but have been pushed back to next autumn.

They are also "subject to parliamentary approvals" before they are given the go-ahead.

Posting on Twitter, the DVSA said: “The rules about towing a trailer or a caravan with a car will not be changing on Monday (15 November 2021).

“The change will be introduced in autumn 2021, subject to Parliamentary approvals.

“We'll confirm the date as soon as we can.

“You must continue to follow the current rules until the law changes.”

The changes will mean drivers who passed their tests after January 1 1997 will be able to tow heavier caravans.

Currently, those who passed their tests after that date can drive a car or van up to 3,500kg maximum authorised mass (MAM) towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM and tow a trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg.

If you want to tow something heavier, you need to take a separate test.

And if you passed before that date, you can drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg MAM.

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