The farmers’ union has welcomed the government’s imminent relaxation of rules which will allow drivers with a full driving licence to tow a trailer with a car – but has urged members not to jump the gun.
The government’s aim is to free up the reported backlog in driving tests, but no precise date has yet been set for the law to be changed and the relaxation to come into effect.
The law will also only apply when trailers are a maximum authorised mass of 3500kg.
Union spokesman Tom French has advised members who passed their drivng test after 1997 they must not tow unless they have undertaken a test, as doing so risks a fine of £1000, a driving ban or six penalty points.
Those who passed their driving test prior to 1997 already have acquired rights on towing.
Mr French said: “The fact that the UK Government is looking at ways to address test backlogs is welcomed. However, there are significant concerns over road safety on rural roads with potential for more inexperienced drivers towing trailers.
“For this reason, we are urging members to ensure that anybody towing has had adequate training.
“Voluntary training will remain available through the usual training providers and undertaking this will ensure that businesses reduce the risk of accidents and do not fall foul of health and safety legislation.”