Should Tow Training Be Compulsory And If So When
Wednesday, 11, Oct 2017 11:19
By William Coleman
There have been an increasing amount of accidents in Australia and New Zealand involving caravans that are being towed. Reports from New Zealand say that at least 80% of caravan crashes could have been avoided had proper training been implemented. In the past 12-18 months the UK leisure and tourism industry has seen a huge boom. As the numbers grow so do the purchasing of caravans. So should new caravan owners have to take towing courses?
In our opinion the "blanket" answer is no, unless we look our ridiculous driving license and test procedures. We have been on towing courses we think they are fantastic and can help with confidence as much as practical skill and we would highly recommend them but creating more barriers to make it difficult enjoy caravanning or motorhoming is wrong and could have a big negative impact on the industry.
That being said, if the driving test was to include a towing element for all, given everyone is allowed to tow up to 3500KG combined weight then to include this in the test that everyone sits then we would back that whole heartedly. It would also show people who take the towing course how easy towing is. It may also add empathy to every driver who give caravans or motorhomes little to no space or respect on the road. Ask anyone who can tow or drives a big motorhome if they think their driving has improved?
There are a lot of first time buyers entering the world of caravaning. And with this comes a wealth of driving experiences for the newcomers? Driving and towing are two completely different things as should be approached as such. If you can drive car or a large van then you can appreciate the different methods used to operate each vehicle.
Having been at the 2018 Caravan & Motorhome Club Tow Car of Year awards I have seen first hand how much effort goes into towing, from an industry perspective. I always had a knowledge of what was needed but once you get an inside look into what goes into safe towing it does give you a new appreciation for safety and respect that drivers who are towing should get from other drivers.
At one point I am sure we have all towed a caravan without some kind of DVLA involvement. But as the numbers rise will it be a benefit to ensure the safety of towers and and everyone else that uses the roads. Or is self taught enough for the open road?