Whatever you’re towing, make it SAFE (stakeholder campaign toolkit)

Organisation: DVSA
Date of Publication: May 2021
Date Uploaded: 26 May 2021

In 2014 a preventable tragedy occurred when a trailer became detached and killed a three-year-old child, Freddie Hussey. The #towsafe4freddie campaign was set up to remind all drivers to carry out basic safety checks each time they tow a trailer to avoid further tragedies.

During the 2020/21 lockdowns as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people did not tow as often as before. As travel restrictions ease during summer 2021 and more people go on holiday in the UK, DVSA anticipates that more people will be towing caravans and trailers. Many of these people will be new to towing or might not have towed for a long time.

Caravans and trailers that are not used regularly can experience problems with key safety features like tyres and lights.

Data from DVSA’s roadside checks shows:

• Around 1 in 6 caravans stopped by DVSA had a serious safety problem
• Nearly 4 in 10 small trailers had a serious safety problem
• The main safety issues related to lights, illegal tyres, breakaway cable problems and poor brakes

By reminding drivers about the importance of ensuring their caravan or trailer is safe and roadworthy, and encouraging drivers to carry out basic safety checks before they travel, DVSA hopes to help people returning to towing to do so safely and help prevent another tragedy.

DVSA has produced materials for stakeholders to use to promote the benefits of getting their caravan or trailer professionally checked at the beginning of the towing season – as well as the basic safety checks they should undertake.

The toolkit can be downloaded from the Trailer and Towing Safety APPG website: