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JUNE 2022


Timely reminder to consider the implications of towing

Police offer raft of advice for southern caravanners
heading north for Queensland's winter sunshine

Cops and towing  Have your say

POLICE have released a raft of advice as shivering caravanners abandon the southern states and head north for Queensland's winter warmth.

"With this increase of visitors to the area, it is a timely reminder to consider the implications of towing caravans and trailers," they said.

Sergeant John Ridgway from the Mareeba Highway Patrol pointed out that towing was very different from everyday driving, requiring additional driving skills and safety precautions.

"Cornering and the braking performance of vehicles are affected when towing," he said.

"As a driver, you have a legal responsibility to ensure the towing vehicle, trailer and its load meet all legal and safety requirements."

First up, the tow vehicle must be capable of towing the weight of the trailer or caravan, including when loaded.

A check of your vehicle's manufacturer handbook will assist in determining safe towing requirements to ensure you don’t exceed these limits.

Local police warn visiting travellers to make sure they are towing safely.

All hitch couplings, safety chains and trailer lights must be in good serviceable condition, with adequate load rated D shackles used.

All loads must be properly restrained and not exceed the legal limits relating to the total weight, length, height, width and rear overhang of your vehicle or trailer.

Load restraint is not just about making sure the load does not come off – it is also about making sure the load does not shift in a way that makes the vehicle unstable or unsafe.

Webbing and ratchet straps must be load rated and sufficient to restrain the weight and size of the load.

Loads must not cover number plates, lights or reflectors.

If a load projects more than 1.2m behind a motor vehicle or a trailer, or if the load projects in such a way that it would not be readily visible to a person following immediately behind a vehicle or trailer, a brightly coloured red, red and yellow, or yellow flag (measuring at least 450mm by 450mm) must be fixed to the extreme back of the load.

At night, a red light or at least two red reflectors must be fixed to the extreme back of such a load.

The load restraint laws apply to all vehicles regardless of their gross vehicle mass.

If you don’t secure your load properly you may get a fine or – for a serious breach – be prosecuted in court.

For more information, visit the Department of Transport and Main Roads website


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Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
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